Category Archives: Fab Finds

{Gift Guide} Emerald & Pine

Anne’s Picks

Give a gift that will be an instant conversation starter.  The book The Art of Manliness tries to revive the lost art of manliness with equal parts solid and humorous advice.  And if your daughter is anything like mine, she could spend the day twirling around in this adorable, tiered tutu.  The best part?  It strays from the traditional girly pink tutus that you normally see.


1. The Art of Manliness ($15) 2. Rewind candle ($25) 3. Turquoise statement necklace ($110) 4. Plush-a-saur ($24.95)  5. Girls Blended Tutu ($34)

Katie’s Picks

My clothing picks on this one feel exactly like what my husband and I will be wearing as we go into 2014 – an easy-chic, work dress in a rich color for me to kick off all those business meetings and a stylish yet practical merino hoodie to accommodate his outdoor fanaticism.


1. Quantum Plus merino hoodie ($219.99) 2. Emerald studs ($38) 3. Silk cinema dress ($160) 4. Organic Green Tea ($14) & Infuser tumbler ($19.99) 5. Nail polish in Laughin’ to the Bank ($17)

Stef’s Picks

My little man loves Pete the Cat and I have to say I do not blame him. I’m all about gifting books at Christmas time and you can’t go wrong with this one. If you are looking for something for a tech-saavy, stylish female, try the Taylor iPad Case from 1154 Lill Studio. You can purchase pre-made items or create your own in store or online.


1. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas ($13) 2. Broken-in Chino Urban Slim Fit ($75) 3. Taylor iPad Case – Pea Pods ($69)  4. Lincoln Logs Classic Edition ($28) 5. Hand Knit Boot Cuffs ($19)



Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds

{Gift Guide} Snow & Ice

Anne’s Picks

My all time favorite candle from Anthropologie comes in the beautiful (and reusable!) jar this time of year.  Pick this up for your hostess and grab one for yourself while you’re at it.  If you have any new little ones that have joined your family this year, think about getting them this adorable owl hat.  It is equal parts adorable and functional.


1. Capri Blue candle ($25) 2. Owl hat ($16.75) 3. Cable knit knee socks ($16.50) 4. Fleece bear robe ($23.97) 5. Bird cup & saucer ($13.96)

Katie’s Picks

Who says you can’t wear white in winter? This chic, minimalist leather skirt from Topshop (via Nordstrom) feels like a fresh twist on a winter skirt and would elevate your look from work to cocktail hour in that I-didn’t-even-try kind of way.

1. Sequined table runner ($24.95), 2. Trimmed Mazurka gloves ($32), 3. Leather skirt ($180), 4. Mercury glass flask (from $26), 5. Ceramic sugar jar ($12.95), 6. Silk tie ($150)

Stef’s Picks

It may be cold out, but the little ones can always warm our hearts. Consider giving the grandparent in your life the My Quotable Grandkid Journal. Here they can chronicle the darndest things their grandkids say. This is also available for parents. If you want to give a little extra to your whiskey-getter, try the sphere ice mold set. These slow melting molds won’t dilute your whiskey, plus they look like a snowball in a glass.


1. My Quotable Grandkid Journal ($13) 2. A Chilly Treat Sweater ($60) 3. Mini Boden ‘Cozy’ Teddy Bear Texture Gilet ($38) 4. Philosophy Giving Grace Fragrance Spray ($44) 5. Sphere Ice Mold Set ($12) 6. Vintage Stamped Serving Spoons ($28)

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{Gift Guide} Neon & Neutral

Anne’s Picks

Consider giving a small clutch that can turn an outfit into something special.  This pop-of-color clutch from the gap is on trend, practical and reasonably price.  And for the kid in your life, give a shoe that makes an outfit!  These neon baby vans are too adorable to pass up.


1. Let’s Do This pillow ($69) 2. Lippy Marker ($10) 3. Orange skinny belt ($49.50) 4. Pink leather clutch ($39.95) 5. Neon baby Vans ($30) 6. Knot & Bot tag set ($10)

Katie’s Picks

Your favorite home cook needs an Emile Henry salt pig in their life. Ok, they probably don’t need it but it will certainly keep all that kosher salt contained (as opposed to spilling on the bottom of their spice cupboard like mine is) and make them feel like the culinarian they are as they grab liberal pinches and toss them into their favorite dish.


1. Summit fleece track jacket ($128), 2. Chevron fingerless gloves ($35), 3. Cable knit sweater ($59), 4. Salt pig ($29.95), 5. Embossed leather wallet ($120), 6. Herringbone throw ($74)

Stef’s Picks

If you are looking for a fun gift that as Uncle Eddie says, “keeps on giving the whole year through” gift your man or woman with a Birchbox subscription. I receive one of these little kraft boxes every month and love testing out all the home and beauty products. A little pampering can go a long way! You can choose how many months you’d like to give, offering a good range of price points.


1. Minnetonka Leopard Kilty Moccasin ($40) 2. Baby 7 A.M. Enfant Duodoune ($90) 3. Flared Trench ($225) 4. Nike Free TR III ($100) 5. Birchbox Subscription ($10/month)


Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds

{Gift Guide} Black & Gold

Anne’s Picks

I love adding a few beautiful cookbooks to my collection around the holidays.  This year I came across the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and fell in love.  The recipes are divine and the pictures are perfection.  It is a wonderful cookbook to inspire creativity in the kitchen.


1. The Smitten Kitchen cookbook ($24) 2. iPhone case ($34.95) 3. Alphabet stacking ring ($30) 4. Metallic slouchy beanie ($34.50) 5. The Polar Express ($12) 6. Salt & pepper shakers ($19)

Katie’s Picks

It’s terribly difficult for me to not select one of these sparkly options, but as someone who is always cold Under Armour’s Infrared tech hoodie is definitely on my list.  UA’s says their infrared technology is designed to absorb and retain your own body heat to keep you warmer without extra bulk – double win. Thinking one of the guys on your list would be into this too?  Don’t worry, there are plenty of men’s infrared options as well.


1. Twill gingham shirt ($34.96), 2. Starstruck cocktail ring ($59), 3. Coldgear Infrared EVO hoodie ($64.99), 4. Metal clutch ($68), 5. Catcher sparkle flat ($150), 6. Foil print pillow ($24.99)

Stef’s Picks

For the man, or real woman, in your life, surprise them with a bottle of Great Lakes Distillery Kinnickinnic whiskey. Locally distilled right here in Milwaukee, this bottle will spice up your Christmas day. If you are looking for a splurge, I’m loving all oversized gold sports watches for women this year. You won’t disappoint if you adorn your favorite lady’s wrist with this Karl Lagerfeld piece.


1. Great Lakes Distillery Kinnickinnic Whiskey ($40) 2. Men’s Bridgeport Jacket ($100) 3. Karl Lagerfeld Karl 7 Gold Watch ($250) 4. Seamless Shimmer Hoodie ($89)  5. Smashbox Full Exposure Palette ($49)

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Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds

{Gift Guide} Cranberry & Cardinal

Anne’s Picks

This time of year, I long for all things warm and cozy and my picks tend to revolve around that theme.  For the cook in your life, a dutch oven in a beautiful shade of red is a must have for slow cooked meals on a cold day.   And I know that I cannot get through our Wisconsin winters without a new cozy scarf or beautiful throw, both perfect for anyone who can be hard to shop for.  And don’t forget the little ones!  The little girl in your life  will love this adorable and whimsical doll from the land of nod.


1. Waffle stitch infinity scarf ($65) 2. Zoku slush and shake maker with book ($34.95) 3. Softest throw ($49) 4. Dutch oven ($99.95) 5. Polka dot potholders ($14) 6. Hello doll ($19.95)

Katie’s Picks

I’m lusting over all of these items so the best I can do is narrow it down to two picks. Guys and gals alike will be pumped to open a pair of comfy, on trend New Balance Classics. This rich Men’s cranberry color is an undercover cool type shade but if you’re looking for something punchier there are plenty of those to choose from. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, I’d go with this toasty, artisan buffalo plaid blanket from the nearly 150 year old Faribault Woolen Mill (which just happens to be next door to my home town!).


1. Bomber jacket ($69.90), 2. The Sriracha Cookbook ($16.99), 3. Palm Springs scarf in Red Ikat ($59), 4. New Balance Classics sneakers ($74.95), 5. La Creme lipstick in Stiletto ($21), 6. Buffalo plaid wool blanket ($100)

Stef’s Picks

You can’t have Christmas without a little glitz. I’m a huge fan of all things Stella & Dot and love the Mae necklace layered with some of your other favorite jewels to spice up a little black dress or a simple tee. If you are looking for something for the rambunctious boy in your life, try a Hot Wheels Remote Control Camaro. For a great price, this little car will ensure excitement under the tree on Christmas morning.


New Clean Edge Wool Fedora ($50) Stella & Dot Mae Necklace ($49) Mack Cheers Tumblers ($45) Hot Wheels R/C Camaro ($20) Le Crueset 7 Piece Cherry Tool Set ($75)

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{Obsessed With} Chevron

I do not know what it is, but I know I am not alone. I haven’t felt this way about a pattern since argyle. I don’t know if it is the sharp points, the contrasting colors or slightly dizzying effect, but I am obsessed with chevrons. I love them for clothing, jewelry, home decor, handbags, towels, invitations, decorations, baby items and more. Really, put some chevrons on it and I will buy it. So I’ve round-up a bunch of my favorites from around the world wide web to share with you.

Paint your own chevrons:

DIY Chevron Dresser

These were made using shoeboxes! You could also use canvases.

Chevron accent wall

Chevron for Fall:

Chevron Halloween Wreath

Carved Chevron Pumpkin

Little Baby Chevron:

Bright Chevron Nursery

Chevron Birdie Bib via Paisley Pockets (

Monogrammed Chevron Onesie via

Dress in Chevron:

Chevron Silver Sequin Dress via

Chevron Bangle Bracelets via

Chevron Sundress via

Chevron extras:

Monogrammed Chevron iPhone Case via Simply Monogram at

Chevron Wedding Cake

Last but not least, I was inspired by all the chevron out there in the world and added my own birthday invitation to my Etsy shop, Morning Star Designs.

Chevron Ombre Invitation via Morning Star Designs at

For plenty more chevron inspired projects and items and for the full links to all the items on this page, follow my Chevron Love board on Pinterest!


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{Before & After} An Affordable Kitchen Makeover

This post has been a long time coming. We moved into our house three and a half years ago with the intentions of doing a little bit of work in our kitchen. While dreams of tearing down walls and granite counter tops may be far off in the distance, my husband and I found some great affordable alternatives using a kitchen renovation cost estimator to turn a bland, dated kitchen into an updated, garden-inspired breath of fresh air. With most of the major portions being done over a year ago, nothing ever seems to be “done,” which is why it has taken me awhile to post this. But the last few finishing touches have turned a once uninspiring room to a place where I could stay and cook all day.

So here are some pictures of what our kitchen looked like prior to the changes:

How about that floor? Gross. My husband and I agreed. It had to go. But first, we decided to attack the walls and cabinets. And by “we,” I mean, I did some wall painting and my husband attacked all the rest. We followed the same steps that Anne and her family used for painting kitchen cabinets and it worked fabulously. It is a lot of taping and draping, but once the process gets going it is pretty smooth sailing.Though hanging cabinets back up is not fun, especially if they were not hung correctly from the beginning.

I had a vision of a bright garden kitchen. I decided to take a huge leap and paint the walls and backsplash a bright green. We used Behr Thyme Green paint. I was a bit nervous as we started slathering it on that I was transforming my kitchen into that of an over zealous Packers fan (being an avid Bears fan, this did not sit well). As you can see from the picture below, the green paint made the kitchen look very dated when next to the old wood work and dark blinds. We fixed that later by painting all of the trim and adding bright white blinds.

After painting the walls and cabinets, next came the floor. We have a bit of a strange set up with our kitchen/den like area. Before taking up part of the carpet from the den, we got used to the idea of eating in the “other” room. We moved the table over by the small bay window. In doing that, we had room to add a kitchen cart for storage and extra counter space (and maybe some day a whole wall of extra counter). Best decision we made! It makes the kitchen look ten times bigger and allows for much more space to move around while cooking.

My dutiful husband did lots of internet research and with no prior experience, tore up the old floor and installed new laminate wood flooring. We decided to go with a dark cherry laminate. It is easy to clean, saves money and is durable with the likes of a little Bam-Bam running around.

When the big stuff was complete, I moved onto the small touches. I switched out the old curtains for airy and flowery floor length ones. I received the adorable hanging fruit plates from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as a wedding thank you gift. Perfect little space saver for all of our fresh fruit and vegetables.

I ordered the rustic mason jar key holder from the Etsy store Old New Again. I contemplated recreating this, but loved their version so much I decided to make the purchase. I did, however, create my own chalkboard from an old window I found at a flea market, similar to Katie’s post awhile back.

My friend’s sent me the awesome donut print for my birthday, something I had “pinned” from an Etsy shop. I’m not shy about my love for donuts and this just shouts it from the rooftops, with a slight bit of subtlety. I also designed a few whimsy kitchen prints to hang on the walls. I found I liked everything better on the green when surrounded by white. Hence, the white frames and matting.

While our kitchen is likely to undergo at least some other minor changes here and there, I am pleased with my new kitchen. Look for a future post on how I am filling that blank wall by our kitchen table.

A thousand thanks to my hubby for making it happen! A happy kitchen makes a happy cook!


Filed under Decorate, DIY, Fab Finds

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Haute Hostess

We’re wrapping up the gifts (pun intended) with our picks for those haute hosts and hostesses who put on all the fetes you’ll be attending this holiday season. Swing by next week for a full week of carols and Christmas cookie recipes!

Anne’s Picks

I adore Snow & Graham and especially love their colorful calendars.  A mini desk calendar is the perfect hostess gift to give around this time of the year and the pretty graphics will have her ready to turn the page to 2012.

1. Dining room measuring spoons ($24) 2. Snow & Graham Desk calendar ($16) 3. Home Sweet Home candle ($14.99) 4. Maple syrup sampler ($28) 5. Peppermint cocoa stirrers ($6.95)

Katie’s Picks

There’s just something about a crackling fire that makes a holiday morning feel cozier or a holiday party feel more intimate.  For your friends who don’t have the luxury of a working fireplace, Royal Apothic’s Edwardian Fireplace candle makes a great substitute and a nice alternative to the typical winter candle scents.

1. Edwardian Fireplace candle ($34) 2. Carafe (from $45) 3. Recipe box ($48) 4. Address stamp (from $18) 5. Reclaimed wood tray ($38) 6. Kitchen tools tea towels ($29)

Stef’s Picks

Likely, you will attend an abundance of holiday parties this year, or perhaps just looking for a gift for someone who loves to entertain. One of my favorite gifts this past year is to give personalized self-inking stamps. The “From the Kitchen of” stamp from Stamp Out Online makes a great gift for anyone who likes to share their recipes. And we all know, those are the best kinds of friends to have!

1. From the Kitchen Of Custom stamp ($27) 2. Kitchen magic whisk ($8) 3. Elephant salt & pepper shakers ($12.99) 4. Penzey’s Bakers assortment gift set ($29.95) 5. Music pillar candles ($16.50) 6. Sprinkles cupcake mix ($14.95)


Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds, Holidays

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Enthusiast

Anne’s Picks: For the Home Cook

If you know someone who loves to cook, then they probably love cooking accessories.  The three piece potluck baker set has so many uses, it will make even the most seasoned cook jump for joy.  Anything that can go from oven to table and still look pretty is a must in every kitchen.

1. Little baker necklace ($29) 2. Vinegar & Olive oil set ($48) 3. The Best of America’s Test Kitchen ($35) 4. Milk bottle measuring cups ($24) 5. Three piece potluck baker set ($29.95)

Katie’s Picks: For the Zen Friend

With a crazy day job and a new baby I’m in need of a little more zen in my life.  I’m loving this “Let It Be” print from FreshWordsMarket. Not only does it pay homage to the great Beatles song but hanging it in my house or office would serve as a little reminder to just take things day by day and not sweat the small stuff.

1. Alex Premium Pullover hoodie ($59) 2. Earl Grey Creme tea (from $5) 3. Let It Be print ($30) 4. Lavender candle ($26) 5. Succulent cube garden ($79)

Stef’s Picks: For the Word Nerd

Being a bit of a word nerd myself, I happen to be in love with everything in this gift guide. I’ve already raved on about Unbroken, so I’ll spare you the entire review, but it would make a great stocking stuffer for readers of all kinds. Here on HAP we love to support our local stores and there are very few stores I love more than Broadway Paper in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. This typewriter journal from Broadway Paper makes a great gift for any writer or college student. While you are there, stop in for some holiday cards and wrapping!

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand ($13.50) 2. Typewriter Journal ($10.95) 3. EReader Cover ($70) 4. Wall Mount Magazine Shadowbox Organizer ($34) 5. The End Bookends ($30) 6. COZY Letter Scrabble Pillows ($72)


Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds, Holidays

Holiday Gift Guide: Kids & Pets

Anne’s Picks

My daughter loves cooking in the kitchen with me.  That is why this year my top pick is the Leafy Keen Salad Kit.  It will get your little ones interested in the food they eat and might even turn them on to a few different vegetables they might otherwise shy away from!

1. Leafy Keen salad set ($24.95) 2. Leg warmers ($12) 3. Owl Backpack ($20) 4. Dress Up Dolls sticker collection ($4.99) 5. Diary of a Worm ($16.99)

Katie’s Picks

Although my pooch Lena loves her personalized dog bed, her heart ultimately belongs to whoever is dishing out the treats.  And what pup could resist some homemade BLT dog bones?  Just pick up a bone shaped cookie cutter and this ready-to-make mix from Doggy Detail and you’ll have your dog eating out of your hand…literally.

1. Personalized canvas pet bed cover (from $16) 2. Cat/Dog Mats ($35) 3. Collapsible travel cup ($9.99) 4. Dog treat mix ($10) 5. Tartan plaid dog collar ($24) 6. Fish hotel ($29.95)

Stef’s Picks

Although I am 100% obsessed with this Land of Nod Hamburger Chair (Lincoln has the ticking fabric chair and loves it!), this year I must hawk the Elephun Busy Ball Popper. While I highly recommend any of the ball popping toys for any baby or toddler from the age of crawling and up, the Elephun Busy Ball Popper commercial happens to star a beautiful little girl who just so happens to be my niece and Goddaughter. So buy the Elephun Ball Popper because Mallory told you to, and as the commercial says, “there’s no stopping the fun.”

1. Hamburger Nod chair ($119) 2. Leapfrog TAG ($29.99) 3. Let’s Rock Elmo guitar ($19.99) 4. Elefun Busy Ball Popper ($24.99) 5. Ash Canvas Tiny TOMS ($29) 6. Friendly Monster robe ($39.95)

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Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds, Holidays