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It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere: Glögg

As your holiday preparations come to a close this weekend, we’re whipping up… >

It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere: Glögg

As your holiday preparations come to a close this weekend, we’re whipping up our most festive Friday cocktail yet: glögg. This universally cherished mulled wine has about as many variations (and spellings) as it does fans, but for our recipe, we went with a traditional Scandinavian glögg. Adapted from the Swedish word for “glowing,” glögg has a history that dates back to 16th Century Sweden—where King Gustav I Vasa even had an official glögg-maker on his royal court. Nowadays, a mug full of this spiced concoction warms hands and hearts aplenty with notes of orange, almond and a bold brandy finish.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 bottle red wine
1 bottle port
1 cup brandy
2 cinnamon sticks
8 cardamom pods
3 star anise
10 whole cloves
1 small orange cut into thin slices
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1 small piece of ginger cut in half
3/4 cup turbinado sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT…

Combine the wine, brandy, cinnamon, anise, cardamom pods, cloves, orange slices, raisins, almonds and ginger. Warm over low heat; be sure not to boil. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Cover and let mull over very low heat for one hour. Strain the spices from the mixture and serve warm.

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Now That’s Entertaining: Comfy
Christmas Breakfast

One of our favorite parts of Christmas morning is sitting down to breakfast… >

Now That’s Entertaining: Comfy
Christmas Breakfast

One of our favorite parts of Christmas morning is sitting down to breakfast, everyone in PJs and slippers, still giddy with the post-gift-exchange glow. When the house is full with family and friends, it’s best to have on hand a hot and delicious casserole that feeds many and, thankfully, can be prepped in advance. Enter the traditional strata, a savory bread pudding layered with hearty eggs, luscious cheese and colorful veggies. Forget the milk and cookies—this filling, comforting dish is just what Santa ordered. (Don’t forget to prep this recipe the night before, to let the flavors get cozy for at least 8 hours before baking.)

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

One bunch of fresh spinach
One red bell pepper, chopped
One large red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
7 cups cubed baguette
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
2 oz goat cheese
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs


HOW TO DO IT

Christmas Eve:
In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in butter. Add the chopped red pepper and half the salt and black pepper. Saute until the onion is soft. Butter your
baking dish, and starting with bread cubes, create six layers of bread, spinach and Gruyere, reserving some bread and cheese for the top. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and the rest of the salt and black pepper. Pour the egg-milk mixture evenly over strata. Add remaining bread and Gruyere to the top, then add goat cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight, at least 8 hours.

Christmas Day:
When ready to bake, preheat the over to 350F and take the strata out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the house smells of wonderful deliciousness. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving to let the layers firm up.



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It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere:
Fish House Punch

To quaff a glass of Fish House Punch is to take in a bit of American history… >

It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere:
Fish House Punch

To quaff a glass of Fish House Punch is to take in a bit of American history: it’s rumored that even founding father George Washington sipped this potent, rum-based beverage, invented over 250 years ago by the Philadelphia gentleman’s social club, State in Schuylkill. This version, from An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails, is a bit lighter and more citrusy than its alcohol-only predecessors, thanks to a healthy infusion of apple cider, iced tea and lemon juice. Forewarned is forearmed: this recipe makes a lot of punch (about 50 servings!), so be sure to have both a large crowd and large punchbowl—or even better, a festive beverage dispenser—on hand.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

750ml bottle light rum
750ml bottle dark rum
750ml bottle applejack
2-3 cups simple syrup
2-3 cups lemon juice (about 14 lemons)
3-4 cups unsweetened iced tea
3-4 cups apple cider

HOW TO MAKE IT…

Simply combine your ingredients in a vessel large enough to hold them as well as a large block of ice. Give the concoction a stir, and share with your friends.

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Gifts for the Guys

What do men really want? Well, let’s narrow this down a touch: what do men… >

Gifts for the Guys

What do men really want? Well, let’s narrow this down a touch: what do men really want for Christmas? We turned to some of the gents here at the Home Office to see what’s at the top of their lists and what’s on the top of their pie-in-the-sky dream gift lists—trek to the Arctic, anyone?

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Steve Mair, Manager of Web Production
“The
Fine & Dandy Comb. As I’ve grown up and out of my perpetually shaved head phase, I appreciate a nice head of hair, but it can be hard to manage… the wind, wearing hats in the winter, the constant tousling by affectionate co-workers. My dad always had his trusty comb hiding on the top of the medicine cabinet, which made daily appearances before he left for work each day. It may have been an unassuming tool in his arsenal, but it was reliable and has far as I know he still has it. I could see holding on to the Fine & Dandy for 30+ years.”

Dream gift: “I’ve always loved Jeep Wranglers but never owned one, so this Filson Edition AEV Brute is the stuff of my dreams.”

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Aaron Hoey, Executive Director & General Merchandising Manager 
“I’m obsessed with artwork and color, so Eggert Petursson: Paintings is on my list. And the Crystalline Decanter because I always need more barware for entertaining. I tried to stick to affordable things, but I couldn’t resist a couple of fantasy items from our amazing one-of-a-kind assortments! I own three pieces from Pierre Malbec already, but I love his Bathtub—I mean come on, who does this!? And the Zebra Sculpture by South African ceramicist Nico Masemula—I love how playful and naïve it is, plus, the zebra is my girlfriend’s favorite animal and it reminds me of her.”

Dream gift: “A month off from work to reset myself in my life. I have been fortunate enough to travel to about 60 countries in my life but there are still so many places I’ve never been.”

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Richmond Tan, Director of Styling, Catalog and E-Commerce
"I’m not a huge fan of resolutions, but this year I’ve decided I’d like to try cooking more and eating healthier. I’m obsessed with the Shiba cookware line from Italian design house, Alessi. Its sleek minimalist design is inspiration enough to start cooking today. Hopefully, I’ve been good enough this year to have it waiting under the tree.”

Dream gift:: “A culinary eating tour through Japan!”

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Lance DeWalt, Visual Director Home Merchandising
"I’m not a fan of electronics since they generally come in black and look awkward in my loft. I like the Howard Reconfigured Radio because I can see it working into my living room.”

Dream gift: “A personal chef for a month. My partner and I love to cook and I think it would be fantastic to learn to make wonderful meals every night and really experiment—we are good, but we could be great!”


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Chris Sotz, Direct Merchandising Manager, Home
"To keep my winter beard looking good while on the go, I want the Prospector Co. Vials Kit of beard oils and aftershave in amazing packaging.”

Dream gift: “I’d love a trek into the Arctic to see the Aurora Borealis… followed by two weeks sun and sea in Bora Bora, of course.”





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Make It Happen: Reusable Gift Box

For blogger, event designer and all-around tastemaker Camille Styles, even an act as familiar… >

Make It Happen: Reusable Gift Box

For blogger, event designer and all-around tastemaker Camille Styles, even an act as familiar as giving a gift is an opportunity to flex some creative muscle. As ardent fans of her down-to-earth elegance, we asked Camille to create a festive gift box for the holidays: something easy enough to whip up ourselves, but pretty enough to wow the recipient. Like St. Nick himself, she more than delivered with a beautiful box that can be used again and again.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Assortment of wrapping paper in rolls, sheets or even scraps
Paper mache or cardboard box with lid
Printable lid label
Ribbon
Mod podge
Medium paintbrush
Scissors

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HOW TO DO IT

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Tear a strip of wrapping paper 2 to 3 inches wide, and as long as you desire.

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Turn over the strip, and brush on a thin layer of Mod Podge, making sure to cover the edges.

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Place strip on the gift box and smooth over with your hand. If strip is long enough, wrap around the box corner and smooth.

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Tear a second strip of wrapping paper in a different, complementary pattern. Brush with Mod Podge and place on box, slightly layering over the first strip to create a collage effect.

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Continue tearing wrapping paper and gluing strips until the entire box is covered, including the lid. Once the box is covered, use scissors to clean the edges. Then use the brush to generously apply Mod Podge all over in order to seal the collage. Allow to dry.

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Cut a label from the printable sheet of gift box labels.

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Use Mod Podge to adhere the label beneath the lid, then brush more over the label to seal.

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Measure and cut decorative ribbon to desired length.

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Pack gift into box with tissue paper and neatly tie ribbon into a bow.

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Ready to give! And give, and give….

Shop our newest gift wrap.

Photos by Kate Stafford

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Tawfik Mounayer

Tawfik Mounayer was something of a fashion wunderkind. He was sketching… >

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…
Tawfik Mounayer

Tawfik Mounayer was something of a fashion wunderkind. He was sketching designs by kindergarten, sewing and patternmaking by the age of 12, before moving on to the Parsons School of Design at 18. In honor of Issued by Tribune Standard, the line of accessories Tawfik created exclusively for us, we asked him to bring us up to speed on his life and to give us a whirlwind tour of his NYC studio.

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In his shoes: I took shoe design courses at Parsons, but one thing very few people know about me is that I like Teva sandals…a lot.

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On recognizing his calling early on: Designing is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I used to watch my mother get ready to go out; seeing her transform herself with clothes and seeing the power that clothes have—I was hooked at the age of 5!

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Food for thought: I love to cook and eat. If I weren’t designing, I’d open a restaurant. One of the things that makes me happiest is getting the chance to grill dinner! As a New Yorker, that chance comes rarely.

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The scene at work: Our workspace is a curated mess. It’s compact, but organized and strategic and I love the energy of the old building we work in. I can’t work or live without my phone camera! I take pictures of EVERYTHING!

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Music man: Depending on the day, we’ll listen to Sade, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Justin Timberlake or Taylor Swift!

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Instagrams That Inspire

Our buyers and designers head off to all sorts of exotic locales all year long, hunting… >

Instagrams That Inspire

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Our buyers and designers head off to all sorts of exotic locales all year long, hunting down new sources and soaking in everything as inspiration. Some, like our dedicated handbag designer Sebastian, keep track of their travels (and give all of us back home a little something to dream about) with Instagram. Some of those Instagrams even become designs themselves, like the one above, that Sebastian snapped of a wall in Rome, that became our Hashtag Bag. With his help, we’ve culled some of his most intriguing shots here into a travelogue for you.


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“I always draw my color inspiration from pictures—the season’s palette comes together through them. On our last visit to India, I just loved the tangerine saris, the washed pink and terra cottas I saw everywhere. India is an assault on the senses…the colors, the smells, the flavors.”


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"I love taking portraits of people. This woman was selling textiles—you can see some behind her—at the Kinari Bazaar in Old Delhi, which is where most of the antique textiles can be found. We even bought some for our upcoming summer 2014 collection."


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“We always stay at The Trident Hotel. It’s in the middle of Delhi, but it feels private and zen. There are lanterns everywhere and they burn this amazing incense throughout the hotel. It’s an escape from the bustle of Delhi and our home away from home.”


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“Here we are landing in Hong Kong after a 17 hour flight! It’s a real birds-eye view —you can see all of the boats and clouds.”


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“Hong Kong is so hi-tech, way more so than India, it’s really a contrast. At the trim markets there, they have these walls filled with spools of ribbon and you can just pick what you want. In India, everything is really handmade. At the trim markets, they also have these little altars to ward off evil spirits—I almost lit myself on fire at this one (pictured, left)! Of course, the food is so inspiring too, this was a little pre-appetizer of sashimi at the Armani Restaurant there.”


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“The Amalfi Coast of Italy is amazing—Positano is my favorite place on earth. In Positano, the sidewalk is covered in gold mosaic terrazzo! We were at Le Sirenuse Hotel on a windy night and I snapped this photo (above left). It felt very surreal and Fellini-esque!”


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“Positano is all about lemons (and limoncello). I just love the colors of the food. And I loved these cute antique mini Vespas.”


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“I’m very inspired by Rome, the walls and whitewashing and the pigmented colors—and even the pigeons! The mask statue is from the Valentino offices in Rome, the arches are from the Uffizi in Florence and the ceiling is a cathedral in Milan.”


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“When we visited Africa, I flew in the cockpit of the plane. Everything is so remote there, it’s the best way to travel. In Zanzibar, we explored Stone Town, which has a real Casablanca feel to it—it’s a very dilapidated glamour. We saw this wooden sailboat with huge linen sails at breakfast one day there. And this building (left) is the House of Wonders, now a museum and formerly a sultan’s palace.”



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“I loved this door in Stone Town, so it’s going to be a bag in our summer 2014 collection. Here’s a little sneak peek!”



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Master It: Pollyanna
Presents Perfected

We get a real kick out of gift-giving in general, but there’s something extra fun about Pollyanna… >

Master It: Pollyanna Presents Perfected

We get a real kick out of gift-giving in general, but there’s something extra fun about Pollyanna exchanges—secretly selecting a special little something maximizes the giving glee. Sometimes though, you reach into the Santa hat and pull the name of a distant cousin, your brother’s new girlfriend or a coworker from a different department, and what to give becomes a bit of a head-scratcher. Don’t fret! This year, all you’ll need is an inkling of her interests, and we’ll do the rest.

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For The Entertainer: She has hosting down to a science and knows not to stress over appetizers when a bowl of fancy nuts and a fun cracker will do.

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For The Baker: She’ll appreciate a stamp that proves what you already suspected: her cookies are made with love. And don’t forget to jot down the secret to your sugar cookie dough on a recipe card!

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For The Sleepyhead: The only thing she loves more than racking up REM is lighting a candle and relaxing in slippers all morning.

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For The Beauty Buff: The gift that keeps on giving? Good hair days. Stock a pouch with sample-sized products and a nifty comb.

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For The DIYer: Let her put her personal stamp on every project—literally. She can carve this rubber stamp set exactly to her liking, and press it onto fancy paper for personalized stationery.

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For The Outdoorswoman: She has to come inside at some point, right? When she does, she’ll love to warm up with rich cocoa in a critter mug.



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It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere:
The L Train

As winter approaches, most of us Northeasterners stock up on rock salt and… >

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere: The L Train

As winter approaches, most of us Northeasterners stock up on rock salt and snow shovels. But Eric Prum and Josh Williams? These cocktail enthusiasts head to NYC’s Union Square Farmers Market in search of late-season lavender, an essential ingredient in many of their cold-weather concoctions, including the L Train. Guaranteed to warm up any holiday party, this gin-based, citrus-laced delight is just one of the spirited recipes included in “Shake,” their new book on stylish sipping.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

2 shots of gin
1 shot of St. Germain
1/2 shot of fresh lemon juice
2 sprigs of dried lavender (plus 2 more for garnish)
Seltzer

HOW TO MAKE IT…

Add the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and lavender to the shaker. Add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for five seconds. Strain the mixture into two chilled coupe glasses and top with seltzer. Garnish with remaining lavender sprigs.