Category Archives: 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

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Guys

Anne’s Picks

I always have such a hard time choosing gifts for the guys in my life, which is why my top pick this year is a fool proof toy every boy/man will love.  Although a toy helicopter may seem a bit juvenile, you would be amazed at how almost any guy’s eyes will light up the moment he opens it.  Guaranteed to have him outside in the snow acting like a kid again.

1. Remote control helicopter ($19.49) 2. Alpine cuff ($22) 3. Utility Fleece Zip Hoodie ($62.50) 4. New Balance Suede Procourt Sneakers ($60) 5. Apple TV ($99.99) 6. Cashmere lined leather gloves ($68)

Katie’s Picks

My husband has declared this to be “The Year of Comfort” – which pretty much translates into wearing as much UnderArmour as possible. His Christmas list is full of it! So for his sake, I have to hawk the UnderArmour fleece pants which will keep the guys in your life warm and of course, comfortable, on their way to the gym or just lounging around on a chilly winter weekend.

1. Fleece Performance Pant ($49.99) 2. Pignose portable amp ($90) 3. Butcher diagram ($15.95) 4. Mr. Tater jacket ($110) 5. Mustache coasters ($28) 6. Hunting camp exfoliating soap ($13)

Stef’s Picks

I always have a hard time trying to figure out what to buy the men in my life. What do you get a man with little wants? This year, I love the idea of the North Face e-Tip gloves. These touch-screen friendly gloves are great for every day wear or for a ski trip in Vail. When your man finds himself at the peak of a mountain with a majestic view, he will be able to pull out his phone, take a picture and text it to you without taking his gloves off.

1. Chunky Mockneck Sweater ($79.95) 2. E-Tip Gloves ($40) 3. Sperry Winter A/O Boot ($130) 4. Mustache mug ($10) 5. Wine Aerator ($32) 6. Wooden Men’s Shave Set w/ Beer Soap ($20)


Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds, Holidays

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies

It’s that time of year again! For anyone who didn’t brave the crowds on Black Friday, the HAP Annual Gift Guide has plenty of gift ideas to cover everyone on your list (and maybe even a few treats for yourself!) Check back each day this week for our favorite picks.

Anne’s Picks

This year I am all about being cozy at home.  My ultimate pick for the ladies would be the gray JCrew Saturday Pant.  These pants are incredibly comfortable and versatile.  They can be worn lounging around the house or with your favorite boots and a tunic for a perfect winter outfit.  They are a staple to any woman’s wardrobe!

1. Saturday pant ($59.50) 2. Snowcap necklace ($39.50) 3. Latte bowls in Retro ($30) 4. Hunters Original Wellington boots ($125) 5. Glee nail polish mini set ($24) 6. Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub ($13)

Katie’s Picks

Personally I’m coveting this sporty-chic Tory Burch turtleneck, but the gift to give every gal on your list is a pair of J.Crew moccasins.  I wear mine so much that I am forced to replace them every other year.  The faux-shearling lining keeps your feet toasty around the house and the thicker rubber soles make them functional in case you have to pop outside or make a quick run to the store.

1. Carla turtleneck sweater ($225) 2. Texting gloves ($14) 3. Personalized notecards (from $35) 4. Confettis ring ($45) 5. Lodge moccasins ($39.50) 6. Lauren Double Frame clutch ($148)

Stef’s Picks

A wonderful visionary by the name of Marshall Field once said, “Give the lady what she wants.” It is hard to argue with his logic! I could rave on about many of the items I’ve picked out for the ladies this holiday season, but my ultimate pick would have to be the BambooChic throw blanket. I received one of these blankets as a wedding shower gift and it has literally changed my life. It is the coziest and warmest blanket with which I’ve ever snuggled. Guests at my house always comment if they happen upon it while sitting in our living room. They even make mini versions for kid’s which is my little guy’s favorite blanket! They are available online or at The Home Market in Milwaukee.

1. BambooChic throw ($134) 2. Leaves of Grass necklace ($24) 3. I Will Be Grateful for this Day print ($24) 4. iPhone wristlet ($79.95) 5. Joules Wellies with Grosgrain ribbon ($102) 6. Strong Sister hooded scarf ($29.99)


Filed under Christmas, Fab Finds, Holidays

Bloggy Boot Camp

When we started this blog almost two years ago, we were just three girls with similar interests. Despite my marketing and public relations knowledge, I never paid attention to or cared that any type of blogger network existed. I certainly did not see myself fitting into this group. But alas, how things can change. One renovated bathroom, one graduate degree, one child, thousands of dirty diapers, hundreds of posts, a few dozen Wisconsin snow storms and two years later, I can say, I now belong to this group of bloggers. I don’t know that I ever fought it. But now, I embrace it.

This past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to attend Bloggy Boot Camp, hosted by The SITS girls (The Secret to Success is Support). Surrounded by a couple hundred other women bloggers in a ballroom in Northbrook, IL, I sat and listened to an array of speakers that spoke on a topic I truly found myself to be passionate about. I am not going to write a recap or post my meeting notes (though they are already typed and ready to go if anyone is interested). I just want to take the time to say thank you to the SITS girls and all of the speakers that shed such lovely light on something that I previously just looked at as a fun hobby.

If you are a blogger, I suggest checking out their site. It’s a great place to find like minded people, whether you are a mommy blogger, a food blogger, a political blogger or anything else in between. If you are not a blogger, I urge you to find something similar to attend that suits your hobby. I’ve never done anything like this and have to say that the sense of belonging was quite encouraging.

So look for more great things from Haute Apple Pie in the near future. My mind has not stopped spinning since Saturday!


Filed under Fab Finds

{obsessed with} Big Round Balloons

Maybe I am just a kid at heart, but I really cannot get enough of these big round balloons I keep seeing around the web. I am not sure if it is the huge burst of color against the sky, the laughable size in comparison to the person holding it or the way it can beautifully and simply fill up a space.

Photo via Far Out Brussel Sprout

Photo via Flowkery

Photo via Weddingspot UK

I recently used a few of these three-foot balloons at the Pink and Gray Sweet Celebration I styled this summer. They were a hit with kids and adults alike!

All of this inspired me to try them out on my own kid. My sister and I attempted to be professional photographers this week with our 18 month olds. The toddler/balloon situation did not go as swimmingly as hoped, but we were still able to capture a few adorable photos of our own.

If you live in the Milwaukee area, you can get these balloons at Bartz’s Party Stores. I’ve also seen them for sale online at i luv sugar and Shop Sweet Lulu.

If you have a creative way you have used big balloons, we’d love to hear from you!


Filed under Fab Finds