Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Haul!

Did everyone get a little something pretty and sweet for Christmas? 

This first haul integrates my three favorite things in one. Fashion. Cats. And Baking.
He knows me so well.

Not one but two pairs of cat loafers! A French ninja cat shirt (Hells yes) from Threadless. And a mini stainless steel 2 cup pan, which will be excellent for making ganache. Along with a magnetic measurement conversion chart. This is super handy because while I bake I usually holler at my hubs, my go-to measurement-conversion-man. But now I can refer to this!

Cookie was interested (you can see his tongue smacking his mouth). Probably calculating the many sweet possibilities that he will eat! And Causeway, well he can never pass up a photo opt.

Yummy gifts!
(The Gire household appreciates a fancy cocktail or two)

BevMo gift cards the gift that keeps on giving.

Did you notice the Altuzarra double old fashioned high ball glasses? These Altuzarra Target+Neiman Marcus glasses were part of a Christmas Whiskey Haul I picked out for my husband. Including whiskey rocks and an ice ball mold to go with the collection.

 Remember when I mentioned homemade gifts being the sweet ones? Well my brother surprised me and my sister by writing us a poem and giving us matching bracelets.

All in all a very decadent Christmas. Cheers to the New Years!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Big Spender or I'm Saving for Shoes: Nordstrom Rack Sale

Have you heard? 
The Nordstrom Rack Sale is going on until Jan 1st and up to 75% off. 
There are still quite a few finds out there!

I made it out to two locations, one in the central valley (during my xmas visit with my fam) and one in Palo Alto, Ca. 

As I literally looked at each rack (my husband was such a trooper) I came across two very similar items. Both dresses had the same cut with sleeves, ruffle trim waist and bird prints!

Even though I'm comparing the Marc by Marc Jacobs price as the "Big Spender" compared to the Lush dress "I'm Saving for Shoes" I thought the price for the MJ was good enough for me! 

If only they had my size.

Who else has been shopping around the after Christmas sales?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Outfit Inspiration: Leather & Cozy

Today's outfit inspiration is a cozy cool one.

I often pull ideas from celebrities and  street style that catches my eye.  I like to see what I can find in my closet that might be a similar look yet still my own style.

Celeb Street Style:

 This lovely lady appears to be Heidi Klum right? 
I'm loving the beanie and chunky knit gloves. And I like how you can wear something so casual but glam it up with some leather. Perfect excuse to wear your fave hoodie.


In My Closet:

American Eagle Knit beanie
TOPSHOP Military/leather contrast sleeve jacket
Sweet Romeo Hoodie

And so my dears, I totally just stole her look :P

What do you think?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm Back With a Sale Worth Drooling Over

Just took a few days off from blogging this week to enjoy some family time! 

I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable Christmas and holidays this year. 

I got a lot of goodies I want to share with you this week, so come back later to see my Christmas Haul, A look for less "Big Spender or I'm Saving Shoes," and an Outfit Inspiration! 

Lot's of fashion this week, since last week I bombarded you all with desserts galore! ;)

On that note, how about best of both worlds? 
Desserts and fashion. 
I'm totally infatuated with the Furla Candy Glitter bag right now.

This is a very festive way to ring in the New Year! And it's on sale right now at Nordstrom.

Was $228, Now $149.98

Monday, December 24, 2012

Homemade Gifts are the Sweetest: Nutella & Graham Crackers

Sometimes the best gift you can get are the homemade kind. Especially if it's Nutella, with some graham crackers on the side.

This year I handed out my Nutella (Hazelnut Chocolate spread) as a gift to my friends and family. They went perfectly with the honey Graham Crackers (a recipe from Miette) I made from scratch as well.

They also looked cute all jam packed in jars with a ribbon and tag.

I actually made two different types of Nutella, you will notice one jar is darker, and that's due to the type of milk chocolate chips I used. The darker one was made with Milk Chocolate Guittard, and the lighter one was a Belgian chocolate from a local chocolate shop Schurra's. Both were tasty!

Did you go with homemade treats this year? Or receive any?

Notice the ham in the back? ;)

Anyways, it's Christmas Eve and I'm off to celebrate. I hope everyone has truly an amazing Christmas and Holiday season. Enjoy each moment you have with your loved ones and cats...and nutella and crackers.

Love, Franci

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Palate for: Gingerbread Men Jello Shots

Reason 1: Why I am late to party.
I'm most likely preparing something delicious.
Always a good reason.

 I decided to go with something fun, festive and CUTE.
Gingerbread Men Jello Shots.


I also wore my super pink & sassy Spike The Punch T-Shirt from Kate Spade New York and served the shots on a KSNY platter, what did you expect? ;)

Who wants a recipe? This will be great for a last minute Christmas surprise and your friends will love picking these little guys up by their cherry stemmed tummies. 

You could also leave out the alcohol for the children or the preggerz, or if you just don't like the taste. Really?

Gingerbread Men Jello Shot Recipe (Adapted from, That's So Michelle):

What you will need:

Mini gingerbread men cookie cutter & I used mini heart cookie cutters (there will be a lot of leftover scraps, gotta enjoy each morsel!)
2 cups Water
2 cups vodka (Flavor with a splash of Vanilla syrup or Gingerbread syrup)
6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 packet Frosting Creations mix, gingerbread flavor (Safeway!)
4 envelops of Knox gelatin
1 jar of maraschino cherries with stems, halved  so the bottoms are flat
mini nonpareils white sprinkles for the eyes


1. Boil 1 cup of water & 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk together. After they are combined add 1/2 of your gingerbread Frosting Creations mix and stir. 
2.  Turn off the heat and let your mixture cool completely.  When mixture is cool sprinkle 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin powder on top. Let sit for for 1-2 minutes, so it starts to do it's thing. Turn on the heat again and stir with a whisk until combined. 
3. Add 1 cup cold vodka
4. Add a splash of vanilla or gingerbread syrup
5. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with non stick baking spray. Pour mixture into pan. Place in refrigerator until firm (1-2 hours).
6. Remove from refrigerator and place the half cherries on top, think about the placement of the cookie cutters so there is enough room.

7. Awesome, now Repeat the above steps 1-5 for your second layer. When pouring back in the pan, make sure to do it slowly so your cherries don't get out place.
8. Remove from refrigerator after 1 hour or 2 and cookie cut your little men out. Helps to use a tiny spatula to remove them gently. 
9. Don't forget the sprinkle eyes!

Now take your gingerbread men entourage out to your next holiday party. 
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Palate for Decor: HomeGoods Haul

This year I've become good friends with HomeGoods.

I went "browsing" last weekend and kept finding amazing things. With the intention of finding Kate Spade note cards (none at my location) I instead ended up with a great haul of china, a cake plate, a cookbook display and an amazing find- a cakepop carrier! What?!

So what did any HomeGood Fashionista do? TREAT YO SELF.

Here's my HomeGood's Haul:

Guess I have some baking to do! ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ThreadBright Early Access to The Palateers!

Hey fashion friends!

I came across a new website which is basically a one stop shop experience. They are called ThreadBright and feature a lot really cool brands, like Nasty Gal and Lulus and its all on one page so you can shop multiple pages at once. Perfect for multi-tasking.

Check out the website, they are giving me and my loyal fans (YOU) all early access to preview the site before it goes live.

Plus they feature bloggers that inspire them...who knows you may even discover my blog on their banner?

"ThreadBright Delivers the Latest Looks From Your Favorite Shops.
ThreadBright brings together the freshest products from your favorite shops around the web. Each day, we source and combine ALL the new products from the shops we love. By bringing these amazing looks together, we can show you everything in one place. At ThreadBright, we deliver style from the shops, blogs and people that inspire us." -ThreadBright

Shop, shop and away!

xo- Franci

Pick of The Palate: Loft Sale

Loft just announced their 40% off site wide sale today! This is your last chance to shop online and get your goodies by Christmas eve! Free shipping with purchase over $125.

Use code HOLIDAY40 for the 40% off. It's also a good time to get their Spring new arrivals which are SUPER cute! Like the color blocked sweater shown below.


Colorblock Striped cotton sweater: Was $59.50 NOW $35.70
-Love the matching pants with this, or pair with a peplum skirt!

Merino Wool Fluted back sweater: Was $74.99 NOW $44.99 
-This looks cozy and chic, better than wearing a plain old hoodie when you are in a rush out the door.

Sweetheart Bow Belt: Was $19.88 NOW $11.93
-Would be cute over the sweater and the wool sweater. Wear it over pretty much anything, can't go wrong with a bow.

Ellie Lace Stiletto Boot: Was $109.99 NOW $65.99
-I love booties and this lace one is HOT!

Great deals right? Are you doing any last minute shopping?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Big Spender or I'm Saving for Shoes: Oxblood Sequins Attire

A few weeks ago Blake Lively was spotted wearing this amazing oxblood sequin Gucci dress, which most of us (let's be real) can't afford!

I found a look for less for a more affordable price compared to Gucci from TOPSHOP.

The color was spot on and looks luxurious.

Find it here: TOPSHOP

This would be great for a Christmas party or dinner date! I would pair it with a peplum top to cute it up a bit. Or sass it up with a v-neck silk blouse tucked in.

I just love the color and it looks so luxe, I just wish I could find more sequin outfits in oxblood.

What do you think? Would you rather save for shoes or spend it all on a Gucci dress?

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Palate for Madeleines: Infusing Sugar & Recipe

It's that time of year, the demand for cookies are at their greatest. I'm here to see these demands are met! This season I have a taste for Madeleines, while fairly simple to bake I decided to add an extra step to infuse their taste with espresso. A light touch to a pretty dessert.

The Sugar infused process:

All you need to infuse sugar is
1. Sugar
2. Espresso beans (You could also try lemon, orange zest, dried lavender, vanilla beans, etc!)
3. A jar to seal it shut for about a week or more depending on the intense level of flavor you are going for.

To begin add first level of sugar, then a layer of espresso beans on top, repeat layering. Seal shut, wait desired amount of time, sift out the espresso beans and then add it into your recipe. You could even use it to flavor your drinks, use as a sugar rim for cocktails, be creative!

 The Madeleine Recipe: 

Makes 12
Baking time: 10 mins
Oven Temp: 425

Ingredients: 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar (sub w/infused sugar), 9 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 5 tsp butter melted and cooled.


1. Preheat to 425, brush tins with butter and flour
2. Whisk the egg and sugar in a mixer until it leaves a trail when you lift the whisk, then add half the flour and the baking powder and fold in. Pour half the melted butter in and fold.
3. Add remaining flour, and rest of butter, fold until combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the moulds and bake for 10 mins.

Easy peasy! All you need to buy is the baking moulds. I suggest Marshalls for the better deal, you can usually find one or two if you are lucky.

I especially baked my Madeleines for a Cookie Swap party. Here's all the other lovely cookies, each deliciously good.

 An assortment of Mexican Wedding Cookies (or nut balls as they were being referred to!), Linzer cookies (recipe by my friend Sonia "The Mexigarian"), Not my Grandma's Cookies, and Struvor Rosettes.

And don't forget the pretty gift packaging.

 What's your favorite cookie recipe?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas at Tiffany's: DIY Tiffany & Co Garland

I wanted something chic for our Christmas tree this year. Me and my husband aren't too fond of colorful hodge podge trees, nothing wrong with that, just not our thing. We almost went with just white lights, but then I thought it would look really cute covered in mini handmade present boxes, a fun DIY project.

And what better gift boxes to create other than the iconic Tiffany & Co gift box, right?

So here's my DIY for a Christmas at Tiffany's Garland tree decor. I plan on using these year round to decorate my future closet room. ;)

Raisin Boxes (I bought two packs, so that's 24 boxes for two garlands)
White Ribbon (2 Rolls)
Blue Paper (I got mine at Cost Plus World Market)
Large White Ribbon with wire (for bow on top of tree if you like)
Glue or double sided tape
Silver color Ribbon Wire (for the garland & stringing on the mini boxes)

1. Cut paper into squares for wrapping
2. Wrap
3. Glue or tape to seal paper on to the box
4. Tie a Ribbon around the box and end with a tiny bow tie
6. String the ribbon wire through the already wrapped and tied white ribbons
7. Wrap them around the tree!
8. Add a bow on top of the tree if desired.
9. DONE! Chic right?

 Now if only they were real Tiffany boxes. ;)

 So Magical and pretty...

He totally likes the tree decor too.