SHOP SMALL FOR THE HOLIDAYS – PART 1

I can’t believe Christmas is one month away!! This year’s holiday season totally snuck up on me (I think I was too busy planning L’s birthday party!).  Before life gets too festive though, I want to share a two part series for shopping small for the holidays.  This two part series isn’t going to be your normal gift guide.  I’m not focusing on actual products, but focusing more on my favorite brands.  

Personally, I love shopping small for the holidays – the gifts are more meaningful knowing someone poured their heart and soul into creating something they love.   This week I’m sharing some of my favorite women owned, small businesses and next week I will share my favorite Ohio based brands! 

S. Lynch Knitwear

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me sporting the coziest accessories from S.Lynch Knitwear. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a cozy knit piece for someone on your gift list. S. Lynch Knitwear products are hands down my favorite winter accessories! The craftsmanship is beautiful, the products are WARM, and they fit perfectly. Plus, there are several styles that are “Mommy and Me” so you and your little can twin!

Click here to shop hats, scarves, mittens, and more!

Kate Hammer Art 

If art and watercolors is your thing, then Kate Hammer Studio is your shop. Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanicals and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and my new favorite – blue and white plants! She also accepts custom orders. I personally own three of her art prints and they are all hanging in my kitchen.

Click here to shop Kate Hammer Studio!

Sewcialite

I discovered Sewcialite on Instagram on my maternity leave and have been obsessed since. Inspired by the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, Sewcialite offers modern, handmade accessories that are created out of rope. Yes, rope! Sewcialite can take ordinary clothesline rope and turn it into functional art. From rope clutches and satchels, to planters and wall baskets, Sewcialite has one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone! I am fortunate enough to own one of her beautifully woven rope bowls and the craftsmanship is top notch.

Click here to shop unique conversation pieces!

Anchors Aweigh Supply Co.

Hands down my favorite hand towels. EVER. Anchors Aweigh Supply Co. is a Turkish-American business that sells luxurious seaside inspired essentials. This woman owned and run business sells high quality, handmade towels (beach, bath, kitchen, etc.), baby bibs, bathrobes, and more! Not only do I LOVE the look and quality of the products, but I also love that all of their products are 100% Turkish cotton, free from harmful chemicals, and all of the items are handmade by Turkish women using safe and ethical working conditions. AMAZING! The owner has real relationships with the women who make the towels and I absolutely love that.

Click here to shop luxurious, ethically made towels.  

THOM KELLY

If I was still working in the fashion industry, working at THOM KELLY would be my dream job! Using only sustainable materials and created right here in the United States, THOM KELLY creates classic, comfortable, and stylish clothes that are no fuss and easy. Each piece is designed to be effortless and built to wear for any occasion (running errands, wearing over a swimsuit, or heading out for date night). Button-up shirts are available for women and men and they recently launched some amazingly cozy and flattering sweatshirts for women (you better believe one is on my Christmas list!). Plus, they are members of 1% for the Planet, which means that each time you make a purchase, you will be making a positive impact on our planet. WIN.

Both photos courtesy of THOM KELLY

Click here to shop American made, sustainable, classic clothing!

I hope this list provides you with some options for shopping small.  I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and I love supporting women run brands. 

Come back next week for a guide for shopping small in Ohio!

Slainte,
Shannon

A FRIENDSGIVING FEAST

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is gathering with friends and family around the table and enjoying a good meal. I’ve been fortunate to become friends with some amazing women through this platform, but we all live in different states! We decided to host a virtual Friendsgiving and are sharing some of favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Below is a recipe for a sweet potato casserole that my family always makes each year. It’s super easy and sooo yummy!

Note: The recipe calls for sugar, but it’s actually sweet enough without it. I did not include any sugar with the sweet potatoes but I did opt to include brown sugar for the toppings and it’s delicious.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE 

Directions

for the Sweets
3 cups of sweet potatoes, cooked, skinned and mashed
1/2 c of sugar
4 T butter
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/3 cup of milk

Mix ingredients together and spread in an 8x8inch pan.

for the Topping
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c of flour
2 T soft butter
1/2 c chopped pecans

Mix until crumbly and spread on top of sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Check out some other delicious recipes below!


Nana’s Simple Stuffing

contributed by Alexandra of Turquoise and Sunshine, a New England based photographer, blogger, and exceptional writer.  Alexandra often shares snippets of her weekend travels around the east coast, gluten free recipes, beautiful old barns, and everything in between.  Follow her on Instagram  @turquoiseandsunshine.

Ingredients

1 loaf of good bread, sliced and staled, and torn/shredded (I love ciabatta—correction, loved—but it’s still perfect for this)
olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped small
2 stalks of celery, chopped small
Bell’s Seasoning
12 oz. sausage (I love Jones Original Pork Sausage)
~2 c low sodium chicken broth
fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan and heat on medium-low heat until warm.
2. Add onion and celery, cooking until onions are sweating and celery has begun to soften.
3. Stir in 1 teaspoon of Bell’s Seasoning.
4. Increase heat to medium, and add the sausage, breaking it up constantly as it cooks until no longer pink and ensuring there are no large clumps of meat.
5. Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste (and more Bell’s if you like) but keep in mind you’re about to add chicken broth which always has a little salt. I’ll admit tend to have a heavy hand with the parsley.
6. Mix in the shredded bread and add about a half cup of chicken broth at a time. The mixture should combine and be quite moist but not soggy.
7. Did I mention you can switch it up, add whatever you like, and season to taste?
8. Now’s the time to stuff the bird. Or, bake in a casserole dish at 350°F about 15-25 minutes until slightly darker and golden on top.


Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

contributed by Claire Wiley of Home with the Wileys, where classic Connecticut life, style, and motherhood are seemingly effortless. She takes us on her family adventures (and woes) at home in the Litchfield Hills and beyond on her smiley slice of Instagram @homewiththewileys.

Roasted Carrots w Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

Carrots
2 lbs fresh carrots peeled
1/2 c brown sugar
4 T butter cut into small squares
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cinnamon
4 oz goat cheese (chevre) crumbled
1 T fresh thyme, whole sprigs and removed from stems

Candied Pecans
2 T butter
3 T maple syrup
1 T brown sugar
1 c pecans roughly chopped
1/4 t salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & place the carrots in a single in a baking dish
3. Spread the butter squares over the carrots and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
4. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook for 55 minutes, turning the carrots every 15 minutes or so.
5. While the carrots are cooking, prepare the candied pecans by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
6. Once the butter is completely melted, add in the brown sugar and maple syrup and let cook until the mixture thickens, or about two minutes.
7. Add the chopped pecans and gently stir until well coated. Remove from heat and top with salt.
8. Once the carrots are cooked, remove from the oven, place on a baking dish and sprinkle with goat cheese, pecans and fresh thyme.


Maggie’s Holiday Mashed Potatoes

contributed by Maggie of Margaret of York Interiors, where blue and white isn’t only classic, it’s iconic. Her signature style, love of gorgeous yet simple details, and a little life outside her greenhouse can be found on Instagram at @margaretofyork.

Ingredients

5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese
3/4 c half-and-half
1/2 t Trader Joes Seasoning Salt
1/2 t course black ground pepper

Directions

1. Peel and cut potatoes into 2 inch cubes. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 35 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes when they are fork tender and then place back into the dry pot. Over low heat mash the potatoes allowing all steam to escape.
3. Turn off the stove and add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, cream cheese, and 1/2 cup of half-and-half and mash the potatoes. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of season salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir until well mixed and place in a medium size baking dish. Place a few slices of butter on top and bake in a 350°F oven until butter is melted and warmed through.

* I make these a day or two ahead and store in the fridge. Before cooking remove from fridge for at least 2 hours and then bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.


Grandma’s Apple Crisp

contributed by Lauren Fortsch of simplylauren.com. Raised on the South Shore of Boston and raising her kiddos on the south coast of Connecticut, check out her classic and simple life + style on Instagram, too, @laurenfortsch.

Ingredients

8 baking apples, peeled, cored, & sliced
1/2 c sugar
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 c flour, sifted
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
6 T butter

Directions

1. Mix apples with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Put into well-greased 2 1/2 – 3 qt. baking dish.
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
3. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is brown.

Delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.


Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas Salad

contributed by Shannon Shipman, a photographer and Southerner well-versed in the ways of New England…with a heart to match. Based in Boston, you can find her on her beautiful travel blog and on Instagram @shannon.m.shipman.

Ingredients

2 c boiling water
3/4 cups sugar
1 large box cherry Jell-O
1 can red tart cherries, drained
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup halved red seedless grapes
8 oz cream cheese

Directions

1. Dissolve sugar in boiling water.
2. Remove from heat and add Jell-O and cherries. Stir, then add ice water.
3. When cool, add celery, grapes & nuts and pour into a 9 x 13 dish.
4. Make little balls out of cream cheese and add throughout the dish.
5. Chill 8 hours.


Gingersnap Molasses Cookies

contributed by Samantha Lynch. Based in Kentucky with the heart of a New Englander, you can follow her travels and seasonal inspo on Instagram @_samanthalynch (and her insanely cozy hand knit hats account @slynchknitwear).

Ingredients

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tp salt
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c veg oil
1/4 c molasses
1 egg
granulated sugar to roll cookies in

Directions

1. Preheat over to 375°F.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, combine brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg until smooth.
4. Slowly add in flour mixture to wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix.
5. Shape dough by rounded spoonful and roll into balls. Dip tops of cookie balls into the granulated sugar.
6. Place balls sugar side up onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake about 9-10 minutes until set (cookies may look under-baked). Cool and transfer to wire rack.


Pumpkin Bars

contributed by Jaimee at City Country Beach…a girl lucky enough to divide her time between, you guessed it, all three of these fab locales. A PR and Events guru based in Connecticut with a flair for weekending, you can also find her on Instagram @city.country.beach.

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
16 oz can of pumpkin ( I use Libby’s 15 oz can)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Beat sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
3. Combine all other ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to pumpkin mixture.
4. Pour into cake pan (13×10 or 13×9).
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven)

Set aside to cool, cut into brownie squares and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. You can also frost with cream cheese frosting too!

SAFER BEAUTY

One of my passions (and goals) for this blogging platform is supporting other women and their businesses and brands. I have met and become friends with so many awesome ladies and it makes this blogging journey so worth it. 

I recently discovered an Ohio based skincare company called Elle Landon.  Elle Landon skincare products are essential oil based and only use the simplest of ingredients.  I’m a huge believer in eliminating toxins that go into our body and when I find skincare that only uses the simplest of ingredients I’m a happy camper. 

At first I was skeptical about using a face oil, especially with my postpartum skin, but this luxury oil has far exceeded my expectations.  It leaves my face feeling hydrated, healthy, and has cleared up some of that postpartum nonsense.  And the best part is that I feel safe using it on my face – it’s made with only safe, simply ingredients.  Plus, the essential oils make it smell delightful.

As I get older, I’ve come to realize the importance of taking care of your body.  It’s important to exercise, eat clean, take care of your mental health, but it’s equally important to take care of your skin.  Our skin is the biggest barrier against infection, and it’s so important to keep it hydrated and moisturized. 

I’m so glad I was introduced to Elle Landon products.  I love that the face oil is super hydrating and brightening. It can be used morning and night as a moisturizer, under the eye area to nourish and decrease puffiness, or lightly tapped over makeup to add a dewy finish. 

Head to their website to learn more about their various products and story! 

Sláinte,

Shannon

Please note: This item was gifted, but I have been using the product for a few weeks and all opinions are my own. 

Fall Traditions – Apple Picking

Last year Rob and I began the tradition of picking apples at a local apple orchard. I was nine months pregnant when we went last year (no joke, Lilly was born about two weeks later!!).

We both come from close knit families with strong family traditions and it’s been a priority for Rob and I that we start creating our own family traditions. It’s important to us that we continue these traditions and share them with our sweet girl.

If you want to pick apples in Northwest Ohio, the famous MacQueen’s Orchard is where you want to go. MacQueen’s Orchard is a local family farm that has been around for over 55 years.  Apple pickers can enjoy the orchard’s state of the art cider mill, pick apples, and enjoy warm apple cider with homemade donuts.  It is truly a gem of Northwest Ohio and a great place to bring your family and friends.

Exploring the orchard this year was so much fun (and much more comfortable for me). The temperatures were actually a lot chillier than we anticipated, but the cool air made it feel a lot more like fall. L was absolutely fascinated with picking apples and tried to eat all the apples we gave her (with two teeth you aren’t going to get very far eating one).

One of the greatest joys of parenting is watching her experience new things. L is such a curious child and we love watching her process all these new experiences. We love watching her learn and grow every single day. What an honor and a blessing for Rob and me. We are certainly enjoying and cherishing these sweet memories.

Tell me your favorite fall family traditions in the comments below!!

Sláinte,

Shannon

GIVEAWAY!

You guys know how much I love supporting local businesses, so I was thrilled when Angela from Pineapples and Parties reached out to do a giveaway!

Pineapples and Parties is a local event planning and decorating business that specializes in attention to detail. From weddings to showers to parties and fundraisers, Angela does it all!

She also provides budget analysis, day-of coordination, event design, gift baskets, favors, florals, full event planning, guest list creation, holiday decorating, partial event planning, timelines, to-do lists, and vendor selections.

Pineapples and Parties celebrated their ONE year anniversary this summer! In celebration, I’m partnering with Angela to give TWO of our followers a Pineapples and Parties t-shirt, tote bag, and a $50 gift card to Pineapples and Parties for a future event!

Head to my Instagram for the giveaway details and to enter! (For those that live out of town, you can still enter to win and Angela will work remotely to help you plan an event!)

Sláinte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO GIVEAWAY

By now you guys should know how much I love all things nautical, particularly coastal Ohio. Through my love for our Great Lakes, I have fallen in love with some awesome, awesome brands.

One of my first “Instagram” (and now real life) friends is a local artist who paints the most gorgeous scenes of coastal Ohio and farmland Ohio. Michelle Brunner of Michelle Brunner Art is a local artist who shares my love for all things blue and white and coastal. Her artwork is colorful, impressionistic, and thought provoking. I am in awe of her talent, ability to find the beauty in our state, and her kind, warm soul. I am so honored to have a few of her original paintings hanging in our home.

Another favorite brand that I’ve come to absolutely adore is Erie and Anchor. A lifestyle brand designed for anyone who loves to live and play on Lake Erie, Erie and Anchor offers cozy sweatshirts, lightweight tees, canvas totes, baby gear, baseball hats, and wine tumblers. Launching just over a year ago, Erie and Anchor is committed to supporting the Great Lakes. For every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research. The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come. I’m so proud to support their top notch product and beautiful mission.

I’m so thrilled to be partnering with these two Ohio based influencers for a fun Labor Day giveaway!! Head to my Instagram for all the details!

Giveaway ends at 9/2 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced via Instagram on 9/3.

Please Note: US residents only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. By entering you are confirming you are at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. Void where prohibited by law.

Good luck!!

Shannon

SUMMER GIVEAWAY!

This week is the official kick off to summer and I’m so pumped to be partnering with TWO of my favorite brands for a giveaway!! 

I’ve partnered with Erie and Anchor to give away one of their adorable baseball hats and with Anchors Aweigh Supply Co. to give away one of their beautiful Turkish towels!

Erie and Anchor is a local, family owned business that sells unique nautical apparel and gifts. From cozy sweatshirts, to lightweight tees, to canvas totes, baseball hats, and wine tumblers – Erie and Anchor has something for everyone!

Plus, for every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research.  The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come.

Anchors Aweigh Supply Co. is a Turkish-American business that sells luxe seaside inspired essentials.  They sell high quality, handmade beach towels, bath and kitchen towels, bathrobes, and more! If you like stripes, you will love the patterns of these products.  

Not only do I LOVE the look and quality of the products, but I also love that all of their products are 100% Turkish cotton, free from harmful chemicals (a win for this mama!). All of the items are handmade by Turkish women using safe and ethical working conditions.  The owner has real relationships with the women who make the towels and I absolutely love that. Such a fantastic business model! 

I love supporting other women and their businesses and I’m so honored to be partnering with these two brands.  I highly recommend checking out both companies and treating yourself to something special! 

Now for the fun giveaway! To enter all you have to do is head to my Instagram and follow the steps below! 

1.  Like the picture

2. Follow me (@shannonsolt), @erieandanchor, and @anchorsaweighsupplyco 

3. Tag 3 friends in the comments 

4.  For bonus entries, share in your Instagram stories!

It’s that simple! Good luck!

Giveaway will close on Sunday, June 23 at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 24.

Please Note: US residents only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. By entering you are confirming you are at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. Void where prohibited by law. 

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

There is nothing I love more than finding original and unique pieces for the home.  And if finding these pieces means making new friends along the way, then I’m a happy lady! My friend Kate (we found each other on Instagram!!) paints the MOST beautiful watercolor botanicals and acrylic landscapes.  She opened an Etsy shop where she sells prints of her artwork and I’m obsessed!!

For spring, she did an entire collection of lemons! If you know me, you know how much I love lemons.  (For my birthday I usually request a lemon cake and when I was pregnant I craved everything lemon.  The lemon ice you get to eat during labor was heavenly).  Her lemon watercolors are so cute! They are the perfect addition to a kitchen, sunroom, dining room, or just about anywhere in your home.

I recently framed the “Melanie Lemon Trio” and it looks so good in our kitchen! I love knowing that so much love, thought, and talent was put into creating the original piece.  If you head to Kate’s Etsy shop you will see that each original lemon painting is named after its buyer and then made available in print form.  You can even commission your own signature lemon to add to the series!

I’m so excited to be partnering with Kate to give away one of her prints to one of my blog readers and Instagram followers! This would be the perfect gift for next weekend’s Mother’s Day celebrations! Entering the giveaway is so easy.  Head to my Instagram to enter to win a print for yourself or your mama!

Sláinte,

Shannon

STEPPING INTO SPRING

You guys know how much I love everything nautical and New England, so I’m thrilled to be partnering with Eastland Shoes to showcase some of their spring and summer styles! Founded in Freeport, Maine in 1955, Eastland is known for their timeless footwear.  Family-owned for three generations, the company prides itself on quality craftsmanship and classic styles.  Drawing inspiration from the Maine terrain, Eastland offers a full line of camp moccasins, boat shoes, boots, oxfords, and loafers. 

The Patricia Penny Loafer Driving Moccasin is one of my favorite Eastland styles.  They are the perfect shoe for walks by the water, shopping at the local boutiques in my town, gardening, and carrying a six month old around all day.  Being constantly on-the-go, I need to make sure my shoes are comfortable, durable, slip-resistant, and stylish.  The Eastland loafer moccasins are just perfect for my busy schedule!

As soon as I saw the Patricia Penny Loafer in light blue I knew I had to have them! You all know how much I love blue and white and this pretty sky blue color fits right in with my aesthetic.  I love pairing them with white jeans and a white tee.  I can’t wait to wear them with my white shorts in just a few short weeks!

Thank you to Eastland Shoes for sponsoring this post. Shop their selection of women’s and men’s shoes by clicking here! And be sure to follow them on social media!

Sláinte,

Shannon

SHOP THE LOOK

WHITE DENIM JEANS | STRIPED RED SHIRT (SIMILAR) | EASTLAND PENNY LOAFERS | RATTAN CROSSBODY | KJP PEARL BRACELET

COASTAL OHIO LIFESTYLE BRAND

A few weeks back I shared the cutest nautical baby box from one of my favorite Ohio brands – Erie and Anchor.

Erie and Anchor is an Ohio based company that sells unique nautical products.  It’s a lifestyle brand designed for anyone who loves to live and play on Lake Erie.  From cozy sweatshirts, to lightweight tees, to canvas totes, baseball hats, and wine tumblers – Erie and Anchor has something for everyone!

Launching just over a year ago, Erie and Anchor is committed to supporting the Great Lakes.  For every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research.  The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come.

I had the opportunity to visit Lake Erie recently and let me tell you, the Erie and Anchor sweatshirts are amazing for the beach!! With temperatures only in the mid-50s and a strong wind coming off the lake, the Erie and Anchor sweatshirts kept me warm and cozy while I relaxed and enjoyed being close to the water.

The unisex sweatshirts come in a variety of colors, styles, and logos.  I think my favorite one is the navy hoodie with the anchor logo (who’s surprised!), but the kelly green hoodie and grey crewneck with the crosswind logo are close seconds! I love the fit of these sweatshirts – I am wearing a size small in the grey and navy, but chose a medium for the Kelly green because I wanted one that was slightly oversize.  

In addition to the sweatshirts, I am obsessed with the baseball hat! This hat is offered in white and navy and the white goes with everything! I’ve been wearing it on repeat these days, especially when the baby life doesn’t allow time for me to wash my hair.

I can’t say enough good things about this brand.  The quality of their products is outstanding, the styles are current and flattering, and they are a dream to work with.  I highly recommend checking them out and supporting this Ohio brand! Plus, if you use the code NORTHCOAST at checkout, you can receive FREE SHIPPING!

This is a great opportunity to purchase some locally made Ohio products, support a family business, and give back to Lake Erie!

Slainte,

Shannon