Category Archives: Fab Finds

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)

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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)

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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!

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{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!

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Salame Tasting Party & Antipasta Chopped Salad

When I used to think of salame, I would think of the old lunch meat on soggy white bread. My mind was recently transformed.

It was our pleasure to have the opportunity to receive an abundance of salame to create our own salame tasting party. I gathered a few of my closest friends and had them all taste from a wonderful plateful of Columbus Salame in a variety of flavors. While some varieties were liked more than others, all were devoured within an hour. Paired with a Bellavitano espresso cheese, french bread and black pepper crostinis, it made for a wonderful appetizer and great conversation.

We tasted six different varieties including: Hot Soppreseta, Salame Secchi, Salame Toscano, Italian Dry Salame, Peppered Salame and Herb Salame. The Herb Salame won the overall best tasting voting and kept everyone coming back for more. The rind has a wonderful oregano accent that enhances the flavor of the meat. The Salame Toscano is a perfect traditional tasting salame, which I used the leftovers for in my Antipasta Chopped Salad (see below). I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Who doesn’t enjoyed some good cured meat!

Salame is great on its own and with a good piece of bread, but it also works great in recipes from apps to main dishes. I made this Antipasta Chopped Salad for lunch with the Salame Toscano and loved this little taste of Italy!

Antipasta Chopped Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (reserve marinade)
1 C chopped hard salame (like Columbus Salame Toscano)
1/2 C chopped roasted red peppers
1 small can black olives, chopped
1/4 C fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 TBSP dried oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper
salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into large salad bowl and toss. Drizzle marinade from artichokes over the salad, toss until lightly dressed.

You will not need to add very much of the artichoke marinade because the oils from the other ingredients are pulled out in this salad. I would start with a tablespoon or less and go from there.

This salad is a perfect first course to a classic italian meal like spaghetti or lasagna. It is also wonderful on its own for lunch or a light dinner.

Ciao!

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{Inspired by} Blue & Gold

I never thought March could taste so sweet! If you didn’t watch the nail-biting game last weekend, our good old Golden Eagles of Marquette passed the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, making it into the Sweet 16. I am not usually a superstitious kind of a girl, but since I posted about March Madness last week and ended up with good results, I couldn’t put a jinx on it!

Blue and gold were my high school and college colors, so they have been in my wardrobe for quite some time now. (Yes, I still wear my sweatshirt from college and maybe even from high school. Don’t judge.) There are so many great options for your home, wardrobe, parties and even your food in blue and gold. They give me that little pop of nostalgia I need.

Left to right, top to bottom: Pottery Barn Cooper Cotton Mat ($39-$169), Crate & Barrel Chloe Chair ($899), West Elm Bazaar Duvet Cover and Shams ($15-$85), Mario Batali Pepper Mill ($40), Marquette Birdhouse ($50), Anthropologie Oil Paints Cardigan ($118), Navy and Gold Cupcakes, Dualit 2-Slice Toaster ($225), Rumba Watch ($20), Yellow and Navy Destination Save-the-Dates, Daisy Jersey Tube Scarf ($28)

Even if Marquette is not your team, hopefully you can be inspired by some of these fab finds. And maybe even cheer us on?

Go Marquette!

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{Inspired by} Quilted Details

My friend Colleen and I recently had the privilege of a personal tour of the American Quilts feature exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum. I’m not a quilter – with the exception of a stint in high school where my girlfriends and I made this huge community quilt and obsessively watched the movie How to Make an American Quilt.  However, seeing the gorgeous quilts at the exhibit made me wish that I could remember how!

Quilting and crochet can sometimes feel more granny than chic but with a good quilting machine and fall in full swing, I can’t get enough of the cozy vibe, intricate patterns and hand-sewn detailing.  So until I have the time to re-learn the art of quilting, I’m planning to just snap up a few items with this classic look.


Clockwise from top left: Frayed Edge Quilt, Crochet Embellishment Necklace, Gorjana Hudson Quilted Clutch, Faded Floral Quilt, Wool-blend Blazer, Silver Plated Cuff, International Polarquilt Jacket, Best Bud Wallet, Laelia Bedding, Anne Klein Beckon Flats, Melange French Terry Quilted Oversize Cardigan, Oversized Crotcheted Scarf, Hand Quilted Velvet Pillow


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Inspired by: Autumn

When I walked into Starbuck’s last week and saw the Pumpkin Spice Latte, I knew fall was upon us. I am a giddy school girl in back to school clothes this time of the year. From chili to boots to pumpkins, I love it all. So I thought I would share some of this year’s fall inspirations with you!

Left to right and top to bottom: Sweet Leaves Orange Harvest Fabric Branches; Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte; Naturally Saavy Storage; Carved White Pumpkin; Faux Bittersweet WreathVan Gogh Sunflowers 1888; Mini Halloween Caramel Apples; Autumn Party Tags; Knit Military Jacket

What inspires you this fall?

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You Should Be Reading…

With many of our favorite print magazines recently bidding us adieu (RIP Domino), a wonderful bunch of new digital mags have cropped up online! What they lack in dog-ear-and-tear-out-ability, they certainly make up for in loveliness.

Here are some of our favorites (click on the magazine cover to view it!).  If you haven’t checked them out already, get ready to become addicted.

Lonny Magazine Sweet Paul Magazine Nesting Newbies Magazine

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FRESH Farm to Table Dinner

Buying local is nothing new. 100 even 50 years ago, buying and eating local wasn’t a choice. Everybody had to do it.

When you put it that way, “local” is far from a new concept but the buy & eat local craze is sweeping the nation and the ladies of HAP are excited about it. We recently attended a “Farm to Table” dinner hosted at La Merenda, an international tapas restaurant and a true Milwaukee gem. The dinner was hosted in promotion of the movie “FRESH,” a documentary exploring the world of sustainable farming and shedding light on what has become the industrial agriculture market.

A member of Braise RSA, La Merenda is a local restaurant with a focus on buying local. With an eclectic mix of flavors from around the world, you would never guess many of the ingredients come from our own backyard. Local businesses like Sweet Water Organics, an urban farm that uses hydroponics to grow crops, make it possible for restaurants like La Merenda to support the cause.

Executive Chef Peter Sandroni prepared a four-course meal, with every ingredient hailing from Wisconsin…not an easy task for April in Wisconsin. Wisconsinites are lucky at this time of the year to escape spring snowfalls. But Sandroni mastered his courses with the freshest of ingredients and bold flavors that kept us wanting more. When we asked about our favorite seasonal dish, the Butternut Squash Ravioli, we found that not only does he buy local for that dish as well, but Sandroni houses the squash in the basement of his house to ensure he has enough! We were also treated to sustainably produced wine at each course, expertly paired by local sommelier, Nate Norfolk.

Don’t think that you can make a restaurant style meal using all local ingredients? Check out the menu and you’ll be amazed at what you can find.

Course 1: Toasted Goat Cheese Salad
Honey Goat Cheese: Montchevre Belmont, WI
Mixed Greens: Sweet Water Organics, Milwaukee
Pancetta: La Quercia Norwark, IA
Wine: 2008 Tangent Sauvignon Blanc – Edna Valley, CA

La Merenda Toasted Goat Cheese Salad

Course 2: Spinach Ravioli in Rosemary Cream Sauce
Spinach: Pinehold Gardens Oak Creek, WI
Ricotta: Grande Cheese Brownsville, WI
Cream: Sassy Cow Creamery Columbus, WI
Rosemary: from Peter’s house!
Parmesan: Sarveccio Plymouth, WI
Wine: 2005 Vitanza Chianti Colli Senesi – Tuscany, Italy

Course 3: Braised Pork with Mushroom and Blue Cornmeal Polenta
Pork: Wilson Farm Meats Elkhorn, WI
Prosciutto: La Quercia Norwark, IA
Carrots: Tipi Produce Evansville, WI
Onions and Mushrooms: River Valley Farm Burlington, WI
Blue Corn Meal: Pristine View Farm Hillsboro, WI
Half and Half: Sassy Cow Creamery Columbus, WI
Asiago: Belgioso Denmark, WI
Wine: 2008 Ecologica Syrah/Malbec – La Rioja, Argentina

La Merenda Milwaukee Braised Pork with Polenta

Course 4: Chocolate Hickory Nut Crème Brulee
Chocolate: Omahene Milwaukee, WI
Cream: Sasssy Cow Creamery, Columbus WI
Eggs: Yuppie Hill Farm Burlington, WI
Hickory Nuts: Twin Hawks Hillsboro, WI
Wine: NV Lautenback’s Orchard Country Sweet Black Cherry – Fish Creek, WI

La Merenda Chocolate Creme Brulee

Similar to Food Inc and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, FRESH digs in and asks viewers to reconsider where their food comes from and why they buy what they buy.  Without being all doomsday-style, FRESH will definitely make you think twice about what you eat and how even small decisions with your dollar might cause corporations to listen up.

We were also thrilled to see a fellow Milwaukeean, Will Allen of the Growing Power urban farming initiative, play a prominent and truly inspirational role in the film.  If you thought “farm” and “city” can’t go hand-in-hand, think again.  Based in a rough Milwaukee neighborhood, Growing Power’s two acre headquarters is home to 6 greenhouses, aquaponics stations, beehives, hen houses, goats, a compost center and more. We can’t wait to check out their goods at the Fox Point Farmer’s Market and hope to pop by HQ sometime soon.

How do you get involved with this Fresh movement? What are your favorite “fresh” places to eat? Share your ideas here or get more involved by hosting your own farm to table event with ideas from the FRESH community.

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