NYE: Champagne Cocktails!

Happy New Years Eve! I hope tonight is a blast–even if it’s just you in your jammies watching football! I hope that if you do go out you’re safe (make sure to get a DD!). And that most of all you spend the evening doing something that makes you happy with people you love! As a special treat we have a guest post! One of my dearest friends, Jason Ruth: food and drink specialist, is here to share some amazing champagne cocktails with us! His site My Glass Kitchen will be launching later in January and for now you can find him on Instagram @JasonCRuth –I hope you enjoy his recipes as much as I do!
Happy 2016! XO RA

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How will you be ringing in 2016? Quietly at home, possibly at a small party with friends, or perhaps you will be at a large, formal party. Whatever way you are ringing in the New Year, I bet you will be doing so with a glass of the bubbly. Sparkling wine or Champagne has become the tradition for ringing in the New Year. Instead of just ringing in the New Year with a glass of Champagne, let’s dress it up a little and make a champagne cocktail.

Before we get into champagne cocktails, let’s first discuss what Champagne is and how to buy it. Champagne is a sparkling wine that is fermented once outside the bottle and then fermented a second time inside the same bottle that you purchase. All Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France in order to be considered Champagne. This often helps drive the price of Champagne up. Luckily, there are alternatives that are a bit cheaper.:Cava from Spain, or Franciacorta from Italy are often cheaper buys that are created in the same method as Champagne. There are also excellent versions from America, just look on the bottle for “method champenoise”. This means that the sparkling wine was created in the same method as in Champagne, France.

Traditionally, the champagne cocktail is a simple drink and should only be made with a Brut Champagne (dry). These cocktails typically consist of a sugar cube, 3 dashes of bitters and Champagne. Another common champagne cocktail is a scoop of sorbet and champagne. However, you can also add other liquors to champagne to create depth to your cocktail. Here are 3 tried and true favorites:

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Red Velvet

4 oz. chilled Champagne
½ oz. Chambord
2 oz. Pomegranate juice
2 dashes Raspberry Bitters
2 raspberries
1 rosemary sprig

In a flute glass, add Chambord and Pomegranate juice and stir. Fill the glass with Champagne and add 2 dashes of bitters. Garnish with 2 raspberries poked with the rosemary sprig.

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The Celebration

1 oz. St. Germain Liqueur
1 oz. Cointreau
1 sugar cube
3 dashes of Peach Bitters
Champagne
Cinnamon sugar

Take your flute glass and moisten the edge of the glass. Dip the rim in cinnamon sugar. In the flute, add your sugar cube, Cointreau and St. Germain then stir. Top off with Champagne and add 3 dashes of bitters.

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The Irish Welcoming

1 oz. Irish Whiskey
¼ oz. Chartreuse
½ oz. simple syrup
Chilled Champagne
1 lemon twist

In a flute glass, add in Irish Whiskey, Chartreuse and simple syrup. Fill the flute with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Enjoy! Jason

#Sequined

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This skirt. It makes me believe in love. And if there is ever a time to wear a skirt like this–it’s tomorrow night. (Although I completely plan on wearing it with a white tshirt all through the spring). It needs nothing else (I think you could wear it barefoot and still have it look amazing)–I just did grey to match the tone. While it’s sold out, a Jcrew specialist may be able to find one for you–and I will cross my fingers for you! Everyone deserves one!

Hope you’re out shining! XO RA
Details:
Skirt: Jcrew, call a specialist!
Sweater: Equipment
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

#NYE Outfits

I’m going to be VERY honest –I’m assuming that if you have a very important event this Thursday night you might already have an outfit! If not, no worries–there’s still time! I have a few suggestions to help! For pops to a dress or jeans to ideas for an more intimate evening I have any ideas for all #NYE outfits!

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Statement Heels–which quite frankly can be worn with anything. I love these Sophia Webster pumps, bootie version on sale here but any shoe that makes you feel amazing –I’m in! Jeans or dresses, skirts or pants-they can dress up anything. These are perfect for any kind of party!
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A smaller, more intimate party? A Statement jean with a white top is my go -to! You’re relaxed yet look amazing! Pictured here: Jbrand: old, but I love these
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For any party–hair embellishments. From a black dress with a veil a la Beyonce, to studded clips anything from a party dress to jeans and tshirt can be embellished. It’s also a simple way to add pop!
Especially love these star bobby pins
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And let us not forget the power of jewelry! Got something for the holidays? Perfect time to show it off! The more simple the outfit the bigger the necklace/earrings/etc I think you can get away with–but if there were ever a night for going all out, this is it!
Especially love this necklace

No matter how you celebrate I hope you look fabulous and stay comfy! And I’d love to know–what are you wearing?
XO RA

#Vintage

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It’s no secret that I love vintage–and pieces like this show why! I love pieces that feel modern, that can be worn more than one way, and that have details–and this coat/dress delivers on all 3 fronts! Worn alone or over jeans it felt fresh, and the stunning details keep it from being boring! I hope that your holiday was amazing–and that it included things that made you feel this special!

Happy Holiday Monday! XO RA
Details:
Dress: Vintage
Jeans: Frame
Shoes: Gucci, old

Sunday Chronicles: Aftermath

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Christmas is over. The presents unwrapped, leftovers abound and you may or may not have already hit the after-holiday sales for th things you didn’t get. There’s a collective sigh- be it relaxing or not. The day after Christmas my mom, sister, and I always get up early and head to the mall- mainly so we can get back early. Then my sister and I head to my dad’s for Christmas with him and to celebrate my grandma’s birthday (she turns 97 today!). And of course we all have the upcoming anticipation of the New Year Holiday.

I’d love to know: what did you get? What are your traditions in this week between?

Wishing us all a week of family and amazing shoes! XO RA

#Traditions

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It’s Christmas Eve! Santa comes tonight! I hope that you’re with people you love, and that there’s joy and laughs (and maybe some wine) to go around. I’m with my family in TX and we’re baking up a storm (the secret according to my Grandma is playing Christmas music while you do it!)! My mom and sister are doing cookies and I’m doing my Mimi’s famous pecan pie. Later we will go to church, eat my mom’s infamous beef stragnoff, wear matching pjs and leave some treats for Santa! I hope today brings you the kind of peace that I get from family traditions–the comfort of being at home with people who love you, doing what matters!

Happy Holiday! XO RA

And a treat–the much loved pie recipe
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Details:
Shirt can be found at Target
Apron: Salt House

Holiday Dressing

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Although they can be cliche there’s something about “traditional” holiday fashion that makes it really seem like Christmas. Wearing to church, family gatherings, parties, or out and about, any piece velvet, red, or plaid just puts me in the spirit! What about you? What do you wear on the holidays?

 

A big thanks to my mom–who styled and shot this piece–these are some of her favorite holiday looks on me and I was happy to wear them for her!

XO RA
Details:
Look One: Vintage Dress, similar here, shoes: Louboutin
Look Two: Coat (my mom’s!) similar here, boots: Hunter
Look Three: Pants: Jcrew, old, similar: here Sweater: Vintage, Shoes: Sophia Webster, old, but love these

Last Minute Gifts Dos and Don’ts

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Raise your hand if you’re still running around like a chicken with its head cut off? (Slowly raises hand). This is just one of those years where I’m a tad bit behind on my gift giving–so I’m being tempted to just buy things to get it over with–ya know? And while this time of year is not about the gifts–no one wants to give or receive a bad gift! So I’ve rounded up some of the best gifting advise I know–hope it helps you as much as it’s helping me!

DO stick to quality–the old rule my mom used to say is “don’t gift something of a less quality than you would like to receive”. A gift for someone else doesn’t have to be your taste –but it needs to be a gift worth giving.

DON’T buy to just have something. In every store there are “last minute gifts”–nail polish and make-up sets come to mind. These are great if you have someone who would like them–but if you don’t they will go to waste in someone’s bathroom.

DO consider the giftcard. I’ve already let you know I love them–and I do! I think there is nothing wrong with a giftcard–they will love that you gave them an excuse to go shopping! And if they aren’t into shopping–movie theaters and restaurant gift cards are a great idea!

DON’T fret if the item won’t ship in time. You can always print a picture to wrap or give—and I know of no one who will be mad at more presents to open in January.

Here’s to us all finishing shopping with less stress! XO RA