December 8, 2017

The Gift Guide: FOR MEN!

The gift guide for men was my most requested post!  So here it is! So many of you requested that I post what I am purchasing for E this Christmas because you struggle with what to buy your boyfriend/husband.  I grew up with four men in my house at all times (three older brothers and my dad), so I find men to be sooo easy to shop for- I feel like Eric always needs everything!!

Here's the secret to men- they love nice things, but they would never buy these nice things for themselves, enter US! The shopaholics to want our dudes to have the things they deserve!

Below are some things that have Eric's stamp of approval.  I was going to also post some things on here that I purchased him- but after I told him this was my most requested post, he replied 'I can't wait to read it' So.... no spoilers here!





1. A few years ago my mom bought all the men in my family these slippers and they were a massive hit.  I think the guys all like them because they keep their feet warm but are still a bit more masculine  than slippers.  I also love these ones with the leather outer! 

2.  These sunnies are the best sunnies around.  They look good on every single person I know (male or female). Honestly, Eric and I both own them, and they are our immediate 'go-to' for sunglasses.  I definitely think that getting the polarized pair is the game changer and the perfect splurge for the holidays.  Once you wear a polarized pair of sunnies, it is really tough to go back to regular sunglasses!  A few of my brothers also have this pair which I also love! 

3.  You may laugh when you see a standard wine key on this post but E is a firm believer in this.  He and I are huge wine people- we actually went to Napa for our honeymoon.  In Napa, all of the wineries use a standard wine key to open a bottle (rather than the fancy openers like a rabbit).  We actually have a Rabbit that Eric now refuses to use because 'real men open wine the original way'. So, a really nice, manly wine key has made him really happy.  He absolutely loves this one.

4. Real talk: It's time for the Nike/Adidas duffle to GOOOOO.  E used to travel with a sports bag and it just didn't make sense to me.  For his birthday last year I purchased him this exact duffle and he absolutely LOVES it.  It maintains its shape and holds a lot more than you'd expect and comes in a ton of colors.  It also has a special compartment for his shoes that keeps them separated from his clothing so his clothes stay clean.  Every time we go on a weekend trip he mentions how much he loves it (he's so cute <3) 

5.  E is a huge brown shoes guy.  He wears brown boots all through the winter and struggles to wear black shoes for some reason.  We were at the mall a few weeks ago and snagged these boots for him.  I love that they have the dress shoe look, but are still a boot so they'll be a bit warmer for him.  I also like these that are super similar. 

6.  I absolutely love for all of my travel accessories to match and kind of imposed this upon Eric as well.  He was going on a weekend trip and I just wanted to surprise him with a little something before he left so I gave him the matching dop kit to his duffle.  Once again, this holds way more than it lets on.  His is never ever full (probably like 1/3 full) and he uses it every single day in his workout bag and its held up impeccably. 

7. I love a money clip.  I feel like its such a sophisticated way for men to carry cash, it reminds me of my grandfather which always puts a smile on my face.  I love this updated one because its modern, but also personal because of the monogram.



8. If your man carries a briefcase, this is seriously a must have.  I am obsessed with being organized on the go because if your work bag  a mess, so is the rest of your life.  This folder is like a dream come true because it stores 'all of the things' in the most organized way.  

9. This catchall is more a semi-selfish gift (guilty).  Between Eric's watch, his wedding band, those pesky things that go under the collars of dress shirts and other miscellaneous things, I hate how cluttered our dressers and nightstands can look.  I love this catchall because it makes it can be personalized with a monogram (or left without a monogram). But it also gives that masculine touch while still being practical and giving your dude a place to put all of his things.  Everything looks better when it has a place.  This pigskin one is so cool and I love the darker leather. This company also makes a lighter cognac leather and a black leather catchall as well here.

10. If there is one thing on this guide that you purchase, it must be this pullover.  I actually had to buy this for E in multiple colors and styles because he was wearing his every single day.  He wears scrubs to work a lot and this is his immediate go to for a jacket. A bunch of his buddies also have it and wear it all the time. 

11. Whiskey is another 'man's man' thing.  I feel like men don't feel like true men unless they have a proper bottle of whiskey/bourbon/scotch in their house and the glasses to go with it.  The kicker? These glasses come in a set with whiskey rocks. You keep the rocks in the freezer and when you use them, they won't melt and make your drink watery.  

12.  I said it before and I'll say it again.  Men love nice things, but they'll never buy it for themselves. Nice underwear is a serious game changer.  Having under garments that are a bit nicer fabric is the shiz-ba.  All the guys in my family looove nice t shirts.  These come in a pack of three. Eric is a crewneck guy, but if your man is a V Neck guy, they also have packs of those here. They also have undies in packs of three as well! 

13.  If your guy works out, these will change his life.  Eric is an avid workout fiend, he works out 6 days a week and is a freak because he wakes up at 3:30 am in order to get his workout in (I sleep in and am REALLY lucky if I make it to the gym twice a week..trying to work on that...New Years Resolution?) Anyway- he loves these cordless earbuds because he can set his phone down and do his exercises without being attached to his phone or having heavy headphones on his head.  

14. On the flip side of that, E loves these to travel.  He and I both have these (I have the gold) and I don't feel like I can be on any flight without them.  Its unbelievable what noise canceling will do for even the shortest flight.  They obviously have incredible sound quality and are also cordless so you don't have to mess with any cords throughout your travels.  
Any questions? Don't hesitate to ask! I am going to be spending the rest of the day wrapping some presents and finishing up some work before the weekend! Hope you guys have a great weekend!





November 30, 2017

Bits of Holiday Decor Around #houseofkords

Before Thanksgiving, I shared some of my favorite ornaments and tree decor. You can see the original post here. It has taken me a bit longer to decorate the rest of the house because this is my first time and I didn't know where to start!  I tried everything! To garland down my tiny little railing and around the doors. There was so much glitter on my floor that I am still running a vacuum every few hours.  I ended up with two sweet little spots in our house filled with Christmas cheer and I absolutely love them!

Our Kitchen Window

When we were renovating our house, my mom would keep telling me how much I would end up loving this giant window sill in my kitchen.  I thought it was so random that I would love a window sill...I was much more focused on massive things like exposed brick and exposed beam. But, like always, she was so right.  I have loved being able to decorate this area and change it up with each season. 





A little Christmas Nook 

This console table is something that is usually next to our sofa that had to be transplanted next to our bar in order to fit our tree.  Originally, I was bummed because I felt like it just looked like too much furniture in one space for our little house, but once I had it decorated for the holiday, I loved it. 

This Santa is probably my favorite Christmas decoration I have, I couldn't wait to make it the focal point.  These trees are a mixture of JoAnne Fabrics, Hobby Lobby and Target but I linked a ton of really similar ones below! 







A few things from my home that have recently gone on sale: 

Blushy Outerwear




Outerwear has always been a weakness of mine. Maybe it is because in Pittsburgh, the weather is so cold in the winter that your outerwear is your entire outfit.  Who knows, but I love the option of changing my coat to match every outfit.

Allie and Anna (my little (but badass) team of girls that work at No. 14) are always making fun of my outwear obsession.  They won't let me take home pink coats anymore because they are truly taking over my coat closet!




This blush buffalo check coat has my heart.  The second this walked into No. 14 I knew it had to be mine.  I even snagged this cropped jacket with a similar print from Anthro last week.  It just arrived a few days ago and I have been wearing it non stop (you probably saw it on my insta story over the weekend)

This exact pink puffer is from No. 14 (text 412.260.6088 to order) but this one is really similar & comes in other colors if pink isn't your thing.

This boucle jacket has been everywhere for two seasons now and is gorgeous (blair of Atlantic Pacific has this on all the time and it is amazing) I went for something with a bit more substantiality.  This shearling coat is originally from No. 14- but I'm not going to lie to you- every single person who works there bought it and it never made it to the floor!  If you are between sizes- I'd recommend going down one size.  I kept true to my size small because I liked the option of wearing it with chunky sweaters.

This Stadium Cocoon Coat is from 3 years ago and honestly one of my go to pieces every single year. The style is timeless and they continue to bring it back each season with small updates and new colors.  They have once again made it in a pretty blush, but also in this killer bright plum.  I love a statement coat.




Also in this post: 

Greyscale Floral Decals: here  We also have these gorgeous blush peonies in No. 14 (seen here) which we adore and are better for a really large space! 

Clothing Rack: From Urban Outfitters- has since sold out- this one is really similar, also love this one!

'Hand Held' Curtain Tie Back: here

Shop my picks:


November 16, 2017

Blushy Shoes

I recently did a number in the shoe department.  Call it too much time on my feet at No. 14 or maybe I'm just getting weak!  Back in the day, when I worked at Nordstrom (seasonally in college), I used to wear 4 inch heels during an 8 hour shift and not even complain.  This season, switching to boots made my feet cry!  I don't feel like I can wear big pumps anymore to work or boots that don't have some support.  Enter the kitten heel and killer flats.

Anybody who knows me knows I looooove a good statement shoe.  I feel like your outfit is nothing without a killer pair of kicks to complete it.  These three pairs of shoes just made it to my doorstep yesterday and I couldn't wait to share with you guys!


 



These Brown Chelsea Booties are everything I ever wanted.  I actually preordered them a few weeks ago and they came more quickly than expected!  I love how tall they are on my ankle and that there is a bit of a heel, but not enough to make you feel like you're too dressed up.  They're going to go with absolutely everything and I love how sleek they are for a brown boot.  I always go up a size in boots because I like to wear thicker socks- I did a 39 in these and they fit perfectly!



I had been on the hunt for blush velvet pumps since early fall, but everything had too skinny of a heel for my liking or was too tall for me to wear to work everyday.  When these popped up on the J.Crew new arrivals last week, I couldn't press 'order' quickly enough. 

*SIZING HELP*
These run small! I am a very true sz 8 in J.Crew shoes, I originally ordered an 8 and they were really tight on my toes, I went half a size up and the 8.5 fits me perfectly!



Lastly, these sweet bow flats.  I have this exact shape of flats from J.Crew from nearly 3 years ago and I wear them ALL the time (especially in that weird transition time between summer and fall when its too late to wear sandals but too warm to wear boots).  I was looking for an updated pair with a bit more oomph and these walked right into my cart.  They are super comfortable because of the elastic band and fit TTS! 



Shop This Post: 


November 13, 2017

Whimsy Christmas Ornaments




So I know I was a bit ahead of the game on decorating my house for Christmas, but I couldn’t help myself!  Because we were out of town this past weekend and I am now going to be prepping for retail weekend (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, & Sunday), I wouldn’t have been able to decorate until the first week of December, which I felt was too late!  I feel it is never too early to feel the Christmas vibes! This is our first Christmas in #houseofkords and I had a BLAST searching around for Christmas decor and buying a tree and ornaments. 

I’m also a huge proponent of early decorating because the process takes forever! Why not have it up early and enjoy the beauty for two whole months rather than only 3 weeks? 

When I posted on Instagram, that I was going to be decorating, I got a million questions regarding where to shop for ornaments.  The majority of my ornaments are from Anthropologie and decorated the rest of the tree with flowers from JoAnn Fabrics & I looove the element that the flowers brought to my tree.  It gives the tree more texture and dimension than just ornaments. 

I rounded up a few of my favorite ornaments, my galvanized tree collar,  and even some awesome flocked trees for great prices below! 

My favorite's are: 

This feathered (I think it is a peacock)- I used the ivory version as a tree topper


This Champagne Bottle (a great gift for a friend who is getting engaged or married this year!) 

This case of beer (I got E a few beer esque ornaments because I know my tree is more feminine and he lives here too!)



October 23, 2017

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Softest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that you never knew you needed 

I've been making these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for the last two fall seasons- usually for No. 14's UPS man because let's be real, the dude puts in a looottttt of work for us.  Every time I post that I made them on my instagram stories, I get a lot of questions about the recipe and thought it would benefit to put the recipe on a blog post so you guys aren't always hunting it down on my Pinterest! Now in the future, all you have to do is search 'pumpkin chocolate chip cookies' on my site and this post should pop right up!




Prep Time: 20 min     Cook Time: 11 min
Yields: 3 doz 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I have also used mini chocolate chips and absolutely loved the way the cookies turned out- but it is completely your preference!) 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease the cookie sheet.
  2. Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and egg into a stand mixer- Mix until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with the milk. Add both the dry flour mixture and the wet baking soda mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and stir. 
  5. Using a spoon (I use a regular household spoon) scoop cookies evenly onto sheet.  Dough will be rather sticky, so I do not recommend using your hands to 'roll'.  They will not form into perfect circles, and that is okay
  1. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Insert fork in middle to make sure they are fully cooked through.  Move to a cookie rack to cool. 
  2. Enjoy warm with a scoop of ice cream..because what's better than cookies a la mode?  





Recipe originally found on Pinterest via a family feast- Tweeked to my preference 
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October 16, 2017

Tie Sleeve Sweater