Category Archives: Trending

6 Festive Looks to Try this Holiday Season

By Eva-Marie Putze

The holidays are right around the corner and to ensure your closet is ready for the hustle and bustle, we’re sharing the six looks that are sure to embellish your wardrobe. From sequins to warm wool, these styling tricks will have you ready for any festivities coming your way.

1- Velvet

Take a risk with texture. The soft plush feel of velvet is the perfect way to up the dark toned holiday colors. We recommend a velvet suit or dress in moss green, burgundy or black.











2- ‘Tis the Season of Sequin

Elevate your favorite blouses or sweaters with a touch of sparkle. These festive beads are the per- fect touch of detail this holiday. Complete this look with your favorite skinny jean or velvet trouser.







3- Faux Fur

Make a statement in this season’s soft outerwear of choice. Pair a fur coat with an elegant slip dress perfect for a party or wear it casually with a T-shirt and denims.






4- Boots, Boots, Boots

Boots are a longstanding staple piece of any winter wardrobe. This seasons boot trends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. From thigh- high to chunky combat to elegant bootie, there’s a style for every look.






5- Oversized Sweaters

Keep it comfortable and classy in an oversized sweater perfect for running holiday errands in or snuggling up by a replace. Wear an oversized sweater as a dress with embroidered boots and tights or combine it with a skinny pant and loafers. Don’t shy away from patterns!





6- Warm Wool

Let’s get back to the basics in a classic wool coat. Both middie coats and ponchos are a quick stylish x for cold weather. Keeping colors neutral such as beige, gray or black will allow the coat to t to almost anything in your winter closet. This classic staple piece will withstand time.

Donate What You Don’t Need

As summer comes to a close, we pack up our swimsuits and flip-flops and pull out the sweaters and boots that were just a cold distant memory a month ago. With every seasonal transition we find ourselves swapping these items in and out of our visible closets, but when do we actually sift through them and pull out the dresses and shoes we unpack and repack every year that haven’t made it out into the sun during their 6 month wearable window. Instead of packing them away for another winter of being unworn under the bed, take the time to clear out the clutter and help those in need.

When it comes to donating clothes there are usually two questions, “Where should I donate” and “Can I get money for these?”. There are plenty of places that would be more than happy to accept your donations although it’s important to check their online guidelines before dropping off anything or scheduling a pickup to make sure what you’re donating is appropriate for the charity. As a rule of thumb, while sifting through piles of old t-shirts and items that just aren’t for you; Look for clothing that still remains intact. If it’s missing buttons, ripped (but not intentionally), fray- ing, stained or just severely outdated put it in a separate pile.

There’s nothing better than a little “getting back” with your “giving back”.

While brainstorming places to take your donations there are a few “oldie-but-goodies” that may come to mind like The Salvation Army and Goodwill. Both are excellent choices. If you’re concerned about tax-deductions, The Salvation Army’s website has a comprehensive list of cloth- ing and its estimated taxable worth on their website. Goodwill on the other hand has a great drop-down list on their site that allows you to enter the belongings you wish to donate and details how those donations will positively impact lives of those they help. Regardless of which avenue you might decide upon you should always get a receipt for your donations because there’s nothing better than a little “getting back” with your “giving back”.

If you’re a woman with office attire that you won’t wear next season, you can consider donating to Dress for Success. With locations throughout Pennsylvania, Dress for Success has a goal to provide women the condense to interview for employment and remain employed. DFS Clients receive one suit for a job interview and can return for a second suit or separates when they find employment. More information can be found on their website.

It’s always best to call ahead and ensure they take used clothing donations.

If you like the idea of Dress for Success but would like a place that accepts men’s work attire, look no further than Career Wardrobe in Philadelphia. They not only give job seekers the ability to show a presentable and professional appearance at interviews; they also offer education courses to help men and women become more knowledgeable on applying for jobs and retaining employment.

Easton’s Salvation Army profits are used to supply food for feeding the homeless breakfast and lunch daily.

While you may feel inclined to donate to your local women’s and children’s or men’s shelters, it’s always best to call ahead and ensure they take used clothing donations. For example, a quick call to Third Street Alliance for Women and Children of Easton resulted in a helpful talk with a receptionist. She informed me that while they don’t accept used clothing due to storage concerns, they personally suggest donating to the Salvation Army. Easton’s Salvation Army profits are used to supply food for feeding the homeless breakfast and lunch daily.

Additionally, if you’re in the Philadelphia area and in need of a place for gently used children’s clothing consider Cradles to Crayons. They have a comprehensive list of accepted donations on their website which include other items such as diaper bags, baby carriers and bibs. Similarly, Pregnancy Resource Center of the Poconos takes baby clothing donations and gently used maternity clothing. If those aren’t near you then Life Choices in Phillipsburg, New Jersey (just outside Easton and closer to our New Jersey readers) accepts the same types of items.

Making a contribution that helps your local community may have more benefit than the risk of your good intentions being boxed and placed aside.

You may be wondering why there wasn’t mention of donating to disaster relief funds such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Multiple news reports have shown that the most useful and resourceful contributions during disasters such as these are monetary donations. Unfortunately, relief organizations end up with entire warehouses filled with clothing, blankets and toys that do not meet their specific relief needs. Those who work to organize and distribute donations are over- whelmed by the sheer amount of items received and while the gesture is undeniably appreciated, it unfortunately slows down the relief process significantly. Making a contribution that helps your local community may have more benefit than the risk of your good intentions being boxed and placed aside. All donations efforts are great but research prior to execution is a wonderful place to start and with finishing this article you’re already a step ahead!


A New Place to Travel

Picking a place to vacation can be stressful. Ironic, right? There’s so many options, literally anywhere in the world, and somehow we always find ourselves falling into a pattern of frequently traveled to locations. In the beginning of the summer, you start to see an in flux of vacation photos across social media and the most common question asked during small talk is,“Are you going anywhere this summer?”.

Where to visit and when to go? That’s a good place to start, but possibly the hardest part. Living in Pennsylvania, the summers are great because there are plenty of beaches an hour or so away that you can turn into a day trip or full vacation. Summers are also a popular time to travel, especially with kids, so any destination city will be packed with people from all over with the same idea as you.

It’s become especially popular over the last few years since they started filming Game of Thrones in the town of Dubrovnik.

This year we waited until schools were back in session to take a trip to a place that wasn’t on my radar until recently- Croatia. Some people are knowledgeable of Croatia as a vacation spot for the last decade, but it’s become especially popular over the last few years since they started filming Game of Thrones in the town of Dubrovnik. It’s still nowhere near as well known as Italy, Spain, France or Greece, but give it a few years and you’ll know at least one person who’s visited.

I knew we needed a mixture of historical sites for him, and beach time for me so we decided on Dubrovnik and Zagreb.

Croatia has a long coastline filled with tall cliffs and terracotta rooftops, multiple islands with beautiful beaches, and great historical sites to get your x of European culture and history. When breaking down where to visit in Croatia, there are three popular cities. The first two, Dubrovnik and Split on the coast and third, Zagreb which is their capital city. Based on what you want to get out of your vacation, each place has its unique benefits. When deciding where we were going to visit, I knew we needed a mixture of historical sites for him, and beach time for me so we decided on Dubrovnik and Zagreb.

There was so much to do and see in both cities, that 4 days each was barely enough. Inside Dubrovnik, you have the walls that wrap around the old town.You can spend days trying to cover and see each alleyway filled with different cafes, shops, and bars. Live music fills the streets and it’s almost impossible to pick which restaurant looks best. We ate at a ton of small places inside the walls but two really stuck out in terms of food, service and views; Dubrovnik 360 and Nautika. If I had to choose, I would say the food was better at Dubrovnik 360, but the overall experience was more memorable at Nautika. The night was made by the incredible views of the sea and walls, my drink coming out on rose pedals under a bird cage, each course being paired with a different olive oil native to a place in Croatia, and to the server being the incredibly knowledgeable about every meal, cocktail and wine on the menu. If you’ve got the time, I defiantly recommend visiting both restaurants.

If you’re looking for the best view in town, take the cable car up to the mountain top and watch the sun set over the city.

When you’re ready to relax, you can enjoy one of the many beaches in Dubrovnik or take a boat ride to any of the nearby island beaches.You can also take day trips to see the bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, an awesome way to add two more countries to your trip. We stayed at a hotel ten minutes from Old Town named Neptun that had a great rock beach perfect for watching the sunset. If you’re looking for the best view in town, take the cable car up to the mountain top, or an Uber to save a few bucks and skip the line, and walk out on to the mountain top and watch the sun set over the city.

When you leave the coastline and head for the capital, you won’t believe how clean and colorful the city is. Take a day to walk around and explore.You’ll want to see the Dolac Market, Ban Jelacie Square, shop on Illiac Street, eat on Tkalciceva, visit the Zagreb Cathedral, and ask the locals what festivals are going on nearby.

We chose to spend one afternoon in a cooking class learning how to make some traditional Croatian cuisine. Our instructor was great and taught us how to properly prepare everything from dicing up an onion to cutting the head and scales off a fish. The class ended with learning how to make delicious fritters with skuta that were so easy and so good I’ve pulled the recipe for you.

Add another stamp in your passport and head to Bled in Slovenia for the day.

Once you’ve done everything on your list in the city, you can take a day trip to see one of the most photographed places in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, or add another stamp in your passport and head to Bled in Slovenia. Both places will not disappoint. If you visit during the busier months, I suggest booking a private tour so you can do everything on your own schedule and spend as much time as you need in each location to make the most out of your vacation!

If you’re looking for something different don’t worry, there almost 200 other countries out there and I’m sure one of them will be a great t and an amazing new experience. Keep exploring and let us know if you’ve found your own hidden gem worth sharing!

Fritters with Skuta 


50 g (1.75 oz.) raisins
3 tbsp. of prošek (Dalmatian dessert wine) 300 g (10.5 oz.) skuta (ricotta)
50 g (1.75 oz.) sugar
2 eggs
1 orange
1 lemon
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
100 g (3.5 oz.) soft our
Frying oil 

Soak the raisins in prošek. Mix the skuta (ricotta), sugar, eggs, cinnamon and grated lemon rinds of lemon and orange. Gradually add sieved our to the mix. In the end add raisins with prošek. 

Heat up the frying oil well. Use two spoons to put the dough in oil. Turn them during frying to get an even color. Remove the fried fritters with a slotted spoon and put on absorbent paper to remove the excess grease. 



Help Hosting the Holidays

It seems like some people were born to host holidays and dinner parties. Everything from the perfect place settings, succulent starters and show-stopping entrées. Oh, and let’s not forget those sugar-dusted miniature monuments of dessert perfection.You can’t help but wonder who has the time to learn and prepare all that. Unfortunately, hosting dinner parties isn’t going anywhere. Fortunately, we’ve found a few ways to make the hosting a whole lot easier.

Your dinner party solution might be somewhere you’re already visiting on a weekly basis.

If you’re short on planning time or used to spending more time in your living room than your kitchen, it’s completely understandable to be on edge at the thought of hosting. Not all of us are primed to be the next Master Chef or prepared and willing to cook for more than two or three people. That being said, your dinner party solution might be somewhere you’re already visiting on a weekly basis.

If you haven’t caught on to the food bars at your local Wegman’s and Whole Foods you’re missing out. You might be too busy trying to beat the rush of weekend patrons or after-work shoppers to truly have time to peruse the offerings, but both grocery chains have a wonderful array of cuisines ready to be packaged and taken home. They offer everything from noodle dishes, soups, sautéed vegetables and sauced meats which means you really can’t go wrong. If you’re up for a quick trip to the hot bar you can have food ready for your party in under an hour (just don’t forget to stop by the bakery section to pick up some tasty desserts).

Consider going bold with a cuisine that wouldn’t normally come from your stove top.

That being said, one of the biggest steps in your planning would be deciding just how secretive you wish to be with your guests. If your friends are aware that you’re not the Anthony Bourdain of your household and you’re willing to admit that you picked your palette pleasers up from an out- side source then consider going bold with a cuisine that wouldn’t normally come from your stove top. Choose a local restaurant that caters and go for Mediterranean, Asian, or Indian dishes and make a theme of it.

You may be thinking Theme? You need a theme to host one of these things? Not necessarily.You’re more than welcome to dust off your regular kitchenware and provide enough wine that no one cares whether they’re attending a “Night in Morocco” or “Casino Night”. If you want to go the route of having a theme (and trust that it’s probably much more fun) you can do it with only a little effort if you plan accordingly.

If you’re planning to host this autumn and are in need of tabletop decorations, stop by a local craft store.

Assuming you don’t have a stockpile of china, tea cups and lace doilies (Tea Party Dinner theme) to accommodate your number of guests, don’t stress out. After you have picked a theme do a little reconnaissance work. Find out if any of your local stores are doing sales at the moment and if so make a stop at somewhere like Target or Home Goods to find a nice set of dinnerware, place mats and table runners. If you’re planning to host a party for this autumn and are in need of tabletop decorations you could always stop by a local craft store to pick up discounted fall decorations. As we all know, once October arrives fall decorations re sales occur to make room for shelving of Christmas decor.

If you would consider yourself crafty, some cheap and brag-worthy craft ideas include buying wire and stringing beads to make your own napkins rings or personalizing place cards (think tiny gourds and pumpkins tied name tags). Regardless, a quick Pinterest search yields unending suggestions for memorable party decorations, fall themed or otherwise.

While there are plenty to choose from, we wanted to highlight one and give it a test run for you.

Now you might have an idea for a theme but let’s say you’re not set on shopping at a local grocer’s hot bar? You could always hire a catering service. While there are plenty to choose from in the Lehigh Valley and beyond, we wanted to highlight one and give it a test run for you. We asked around and double checked online reviews of our top choices and decided to use Sumac Catering of Bethlehem.

As started in their 5 star reviews, Sumac is dedicated to making every catering event their best yet and, lucky for us, they do more than just dinner.You can cater breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert. The way it works is you just head to their website, we recommend not doing this on an empty stomach, and pick from one of their 30+ dinner options. Once you know what you want for the main course, check out all the sides, salads, apps and desert options to put together the perfect menu. The best part about this is, you never have to leave the living room! You can order it all over the phone and they’ll deliver it to your house the day of your party. Just worry about how you’d like to set the table and you’ve just made hosting a dinner party as easy as pie!


My Personal Decompression Oasis

We’ve removed all lulls from our lives. From the moment we wake until well into the hours we should be sleeping, we’re plugged in and preoccupied. What follows is a simple solution for beginning to turn that tide and the profound justification for it.


By David J. Witchell

We’re almost always conscious of that line, conscious of the implications of crossing over it, and, yet, we do, over and over again, as if compelled by an urge that, at best, can only be ignored for a day or two at a time.

Buy it. Save it. And even when there’s no logical reason why we should, we do.

My days, in every aspect, are sensory-overload. It took me years to learn how to not just manage it but appreciate it, to be present at every turn and fully absorb the experience. The linchpin, I believe, is heeding that line. It represents more than the division of more and less. It’s also balance, or harmony.

For at least few minutes each day, but usually no more than that, I unplug and meditate. What that entails, exactly, is reading my daily word and reflecting on the blessings of the day. I focus on my intentions, center myself in the present and, simply enough, breathe.

The location matters less than the immediate space. I can do it wherever I am, but the room in which I do it needs to clear from distraction. I’ve come to describe it as my Personal Decompression Oasis, or PDO. This is how I go about establishing it.

First, I’ll eliminate all spoken words, which means the TV, if there is one, goes off. My phone and computer are left in another room. Occasionally, I’ll play some music, but it’s strictly instrumental. Then, I’ll light a candle, if it’s practical. If I’m relegated to a walk-in closet, it’s not. In lieu of the candle, I’ll find another focal point, like a tree or a flower on the other side of a window.

Next, I’ll get comfortable, but not too comfortable. If I lay down, sleep will follow. Relaxing as that may be, it defeats the point here. So I’ll sit with a relaxed posture and then take three deep breaths, inhaling through the mouth and exhaling through the nose. I’ll read my daily inspirational message aloud to myself, all the while continuing to breathe in a slowed and deliberate manner. Dividing my attention between the two, the idea is to lock out any thoughts, positive and negative, about the past and the future. This very moment, the message and my breath, is the whole of my world. It’s only then that the act will bear its rewards: comfort, wisdom, strength.

It’s hard to believe that such a relatively small investment can yield such a large return. It took me a while to buy in. But once I gradually started to realize that I was feeling more satisfied with what I had and less burdened by it, I began to respect the process more. The PDO is designed to be a simple construct so that it’s sustainable, but it’s also meant to illustrate how little we actually need to get by. Nothing I’ve ever owned has touched what I’ve felt during meditation. And when you move through life feeling like you’re already equipped with everything you need, you become immune to all those threats to your things, which, you’ll discover, are the source of so much stress.

David J. Witchell is the co-owner of David J. Witchell Salon & Spa, in Newtown and Lahaska, and The Boutiques at 25 South, in Newtown.


Drinking Your Way Through Philly Wine Week

If you have in mind a bunch of snobbish dinners, you’re in for an abrupt, and probably life-altering, awakening.

By Scott Edwards


When Philly Wine Week debuted back in 2014, the goal was elemental: to throw some attention on the city’s budding, but small, wine community—the shops, the bars, the makers. But as the industry itself has evolved over the last three years—winemakers growing younger, their products more unconventional—we, the audience, have become the target. Trend-happy as we are, a lot of us are still harboring a grudge against wine for being too uptight. We’ll drink it at dinner with the in-laws, but it’s rare that we’ll tote a Spanish sparkler to the beach, or even into the backyard. If we even know what a Spanish sparkler is.

Much like your OS, wine has become much more user-friendly in recent years. This is the opportunity to fast-track your re-education. Pictured, from above: PWW hosts Panorama and The Good King Tavern’s Chloe Grigri.

“All of us at Philly Wine Week (PWW) are looking to change the perception of wine as something complicated, stuffy and only to be enjoyed on special occasions. And what better place to show how unfussy something is than our very own city, where keeping things casual and unpretentious is the way of life,” says Kate Moroney Miller, a PWW co-founder.

How that’ll be accomplished is through a wide range of tastings—more than 70 participants, the largest pool yet, are collaborating on over 100 events—that’ll be offering something, in most cases, a few degrees from what you’re familiar with. The hope is that you’ll get drunk along the way (unofficially) and discover a few new go-tos that go down easy with every occasion, including the complete lack thereof.

This year’s installment opens next Sunday, March 19, with the signature kickoff party, Opening Corks, at the Academy of Natural Sciences. (General admission tickets are $65.) In keeping with the aforementioned intent, the party’s designed to conjure a rather abrupt awakening by way of a sensory overload—a hundred-plus varieties flowing through halls populated by a T-rex and butterflies.

If you haven’t broken through your two-glasses-of-Malbec-then-off-to-bed regimen by the end of the night, there will be plenty of other opportunities to wear down your resolve over the coming days. (Still, ease up a bit on the reins.)

The next night, head over to Kensington Quarters for the pay-as-you-go Lambrusco Festival, at which bartenders will be pouring various kinds of the Italian sparkler and an impressive roster of guest chefs—Jesse Ito (Royal Sushi and Izakaya), Sam Jacobson (Stargazy), Steve Forte (Town Hall Provisions), among a slew of others—will be pairing dishes with them all night long.

Tuesday night brings perspective. Vintage will be hosting Think Inside the Box, a blind tasting to test your ability to decipher boxed and bottled wines. Think all boxed wines taste the same (cheap)? You’re a varietal-ist. And you clearly haven’t drunk from one since your sorority mixer. It’s time to cast your ignorance aside and have your mind blown. (After this, it’s on to cans. Yes, cans.)

Come Thursday, you may be confused, but it’s only the fast-track to awareness. Time to step in for an at-bat in the big leagues. Osteria is offering the chance to experience one of the great perks in a day in the life of a sommelier: the trade testing. You’ll be sampling wines from Italy, schmoozed by distributors and brand ambassadors as you go. Your goal for the night: Figure out how to decipher Prosecco from Lambrusco. (More on that in a moment.)

To ensure the last of your preconceptions are kicked to the curb, hit Afternoon Delights, a pastry-and-wine pairing at Jet Wine Bar Saturday afternoon. The wines have been selected because they’re especially conducive to day-drinking. That’s right; you can drink the stuff in broad daylight too. And not out of a paper bag. Then, Sunday, Barbuzzo’s hosting a brunch, its first, featuring wine-based cocktails, Calabrian and Sicilian wines and Italian sparkling wines (which you should be on intimate terms with by now) paired with Italian-inspired dishes.

Two serious bouts of day-drinking seem a fitting way to close out the week.

(*For a complete list of the tens and tens of events not mentioned here, including access to tickets, go here.)

Photos courtesy (from the top) Philly Wine Week, Panorama, The Good King Tavern




9 Reasons to Start Drinking Local Wine


Still caught between gifts for next week? Go with an all-local wine tasting. You’ll both be surprised by the breadth of it—you especially because you’ll know how cheaply it came.

By April Lisante

Maybe save the vineyard strolling for more hospitable conditions and head straight for the bar, where it’s warm and toasty, and getting more so with each pour.

If, like us, you’re not in the fortunate position of plotting an escape from this gloomy winter to Tuscany or Napa, there’s still a consolation prize to be had. Through the end of April, the nine-member Bucks County Wine Trail is offering a $20-pass that buys you a tasting at each vineyard. (Cough. Valentine’s Day. Cough.)

The vineyards, which cover about 30 miles, from Rose Bank in Newtown to Unami Ridge in Quakertown, are sampling reds and whites, along with several unexpected varieties, including Rieslings and fruit wines. All are family-owned and -operated, ranging in size from just a few acres to over 70, and some have been around for decades. (The wine trail itself has been a thing since 2004.)

“Our mission was to educate people about agro-tourism and winemaking,” says Theresa Katalinas, a spokesperson for the wine trail.

More specifically, it’s to introduce them to us, their neighbors. Joseph Maxian has been making Riesling since the eighties at Sand Castle Winery in bucolic Erwinna, but out-of-towners comprise the great majority of his visitors. Sand Castle’s out of the way, but Maxian’s hardly been operating on the down-low all this time. Large signs along River Road announce the approach of the winery’s entrance, which, aside from the Golden Pheasant Inn, is the only business around for miles. And he regularly submits his vintages to international competitions.

“We taste it against the best in Europe, and no one can say which is better,” Maxian says. “But we are more known in New York City than Bucks County, so it will be nice to see if the trail brings us more locals. This county is great for wine. I see it as an eye-opener.”

Normally, tastings would range from $5 to $20 per person, on average, at each winery. They entail about a half-dozen three-quarter ounce pours—which can add up fast, especially when you’re driving to your next round. So bring a DD (which could spoil the mood) or pace yourselves across a few weekends. This isn’t a competition. Though, we don’t want to make any presumptions about how your partner will want to reward you at the end of it.

Jerry Forest planted his first vines in 1966—and then waited. Which makes his Buckingham Valley Vineyards, now in its 50th year, the trail’s granddaddy. “I played guitars, I drank wine. I felt like I was going to make a living of one or the other,” Forest says, with a laugh.

Forest, like many of the other wine trail vintners, experienced years of trial before producing his first bottle. Today, Buckingham Valley’s most known for its sparkling wines, in part because they’re a rarity for the region.

“That’s why this trail is nice. We are all different,” Forest says. “We aren’t in competition with one each other. We complement one another.”

Photos courtesy the Bucks County Wine Trail




The All-Artisans Gift Guide


Everything’s produced locally, in small batches and sourced by our resident scavenger, Susan Forker, an artisan herself.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. The temperatures cool, the fires are stoked, and we reflect on giving. Buying handmade and local has always been an integral part of my gifting for many reasons, not in the least, the foothold it provides to the small businesses in our community.  Mostly, though, it’s an opportunity to support the artisans who create unique, thoughtfully made products that have a story behind them. Here’s what caught my eye this season.

Woven Tote/Caryall | arden + james | from $320
A technically skilled artisan with the keenest intuition, Bri Brant’s work draws its beauty from natural media and her deep respect for the environment. The leather in her handmade bags is produced locally at a historic tannery, one of only two in the country that employ an eco-friendly, vegetable tanning process. The other materials in this tote, a true keepsake, are treated with the same level of care, right down to the hand-hammered copper rivets.

Artisan Candles | Zoet Bathlatier | from $20 each
Beautifully packaged and made in small batches from 100-percent vegetable wax and pure essential oils, these candles will intoxicate your senses. With fragrances like Fir Needle & Clove, The Woods, Caramel & Woodfire, simply light one and you’re transported to another place. The stated desire is to provide a sense of renewal and wellbeing with each. Mission accomplished. And then some.


Daisy Necklace | earth and wearsfrom $30 (each)
Lyn Carey recently celebrated the eighth anniversary of her Dallas, Pennsylvania, shop, earth and wears, and the ninth of her pottery and ceramic jewelry line, which goes by the same name. Finding inspiration in natural tones and textures, Lyn hand-forms and -glazes these stunning pendants, leaving the back untreated for diffusing essential oils. One drop lasts about eight hours.



Assorted pillows | Tamme Handmade | $20 (each)
Funky. Flirty. Retro-glam. Tamme McClelland’s eclectic line, Tamme Handmade, has a definite swagger. The images are printed directly onto the fabric with water-based, eco-friendly dye. These pillows are especially appropriate for the literature lover, the nautical enthusiast and the anglophile on your list. Frida Kahlo and Eleanor Roosevelt are her best-sellers. I’m partial to Charles Bukowski.


DIY Stitch Kit | Popped Stitches | $12
Popped Stitches is the brainchild of Melissa McCullough, who displays a wicked sense of humor in her original cross-stitch and embroidered creations. Much of her work references an affinity for pop culture, geekery and salty quips, like, “Don’t summon my inner bitch, she doesn’t play nice,” that are bound to make you laugh out loud then race to hang it. This stitch kit (available exclusively at Philadelphia Independents is the gift that keeps on giving—because the recipient is bound to brag about his/her ability (and neglect to mention the kit) to anyone who comes into contact with it.


Susan Forker is the owner and designer of the Doylestown-based joeyfivecents, a line of one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories.


The 2016 Home + Table Holiday Gift Guide

Our aim here is simply to inspire. Whether you lift these ideas for your vision board or your shopping list is entirely up to you. ‘Tis the season to be merry, after all. And, despite what we grimace and mutter through gritted teeth, it’s not the thought that makes us happy. It’s the stuff we crave. Like this stuff, as you’re about to discover. So if you’re buying for yourself, really, you’re just saving someone else the trouble. And if you’re shopping for those in your circle, we haven’t been properly introduced.

Styling by Courtney Greisman and Kristen Chase • Photography by Matthew J. Rhein

For Her

Erickson Beamon Smoking Jacket Earrings, $412,
ESTATE Boutique,

Erickson Beamon Kumbaya Earrings, $345, ESTATE Boutique

East Philly Industries custom watercolor portrait, $30 to $55,

Debbie Martin Designs Paris Scarf, $98, Bucks County Dry Goods,

Erickson Beamon Milky Way Bracelet, $467, ESTATE Boutique

Iosselliani brass chain bracelet, $267, ESTATE Boutique

Diane von Furstenberg clutch, $198, ESTATE Boutique

Nicole Miller Sunburst pleat skirt, $395, ESTATE Boutique


Smythe + Audgen I Know, Right sweater, $425, ESTATE Boutique

Erickson Beamon Electric Queens Earrings, $330, ESTATE Boutique










For Him

J.Lindeberg Wolverine Compact Melton Jacket, $650, J.Lindeberg Dani CL poplin shirt, $154, leather gloves, $160, VINCE. cashmere scarf, $195  All available at ESTATE Boutique,

Jo Bucket Weekender Canvas, $265, Bucks County Dry Goods,

HEWN Spirits Shipmate Gold Rum, $29,; California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties (hardcover with Japanese matte art paper), $40, Bucks County Dry Goods; Vintage blankets, $115 (each), Bucks County Dry Goods; HEWN Spirits Dark Hollow Pennsylvania Bourbon Whiskey, $34, and HEWN Spirits Red Barn Rye Whiskey, $32,

AG The Protégé sueded stretch sateen pants, $178, ESTATE Boutique 34 Heritage Charisma twill pants, $175, ESTATE Boutique;




Gant Rugger Knit Cap, $35, ESTATE Boutique, estateboutique.






For Kids

Tegu magnetic wooden building system, $35 (14-piece set) to $110 (42-piece set) JaZams,

Runspecht marble tower, $110,

My Marquee Light Box, $37



Gund Pusheen Plush, $25

Automoblox Mini 3-Pack, $35

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe Scooter, $89



























For Pets

Martingale dog collar, $13, P & A Feed and Pet,

All-natural dog bone, $15.50 (per pound), and Pumpkin biscotti pet treats, $20 (one pound), Crossroads Bake Shop,

Top Paw dog dress, $21, PetSmart,; Paul Frank Signature Julius dog leash, $19, P & A Feed and Pet, Top Paw dog sweater, $24, PetSmart,











For Host

Honeycomb wine rack, $44, Bucks County Dry Goods,

KOBO soy candle, $38, Bucks County Dry Goods

seda france L’Ambre Boudoir Boxed Candle, $32.50, ESTATE Boutique,

catstudio Philadelphia dish towel, $20, and glasses, $12 (each), Bucks County Dry Goods

How to Eat Your Way Through Festival Season


Beginning this weekend, you’re not going to be able to turn around without running into some kind of street fair. Which means more-than-ample opportunity for eating with your hands. But you need to be smart about it. You can only consume so many calories. Allow us to show you the way.

By Christine Olley


The old saying goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” but with the overloaded slate of festivals, and their smorgasbord-like food courts, on the horizon, it would be downright wrong to discriminate. Here, a rundown of the most appetizing gatherings across the region over the coming weeks.

Chester County’s playing host to two major food-centric festivals over the next month, the long-running Kennett Square Mushroom Festival this weekend and the biannual Phoenixville Food Festival October 1.

The former is a bit of everything—demos, cook-offs, eating (of course), even exhibits—packed into one nonstop weekend. Whether you go for an hour or set up camp, just don’t forget to buy mushrooms to go. They’ll be sold in front of the east and west gates and the growers’ exhibit. The latter is far more straightforward, though way more diverse: 30 trucks (and counting), covering every conceivable niche, from Caribbean-American soul food to Liege-style waffles.

Don’t be deceived by the name. Hit the Doylestown Arts Festival this weekend for the local art and the artisanal goods, but stay for the food. Two food courts will be crammed with the usual festival fare—sausages, fries and ice cream, oh, my—along with samplings from Doylestown’s textured restaurant scene and a bevy of food trucks. This may be the one street festival that doesn’t disappoint a vegetarian.

Yardley Harvest Day, the following Saturday, Sept. 17, is evolving into the ultimate collection of the region’s most promising small-batch foodstuff makers, from Bucks County Cookie Company and Carol’s Pizzelles to Gourmet Jelly and Jak Jeckel Pepper Sauce. There’ll be Brewscuits, too, for your four-legged best friend. You’ll owe him for panting patiently at your side throughout this shopping/tasting spree.

Peddler’s Village, in Lahaska, can always be counted on for some seasonal gorging. OctoberFEAST, October 15 and 16, delivers an onslaught of German specialties, including, most notably, bratwurst pork schnitzel and the ever-delectable Bavarian crème pie. A couple weekends later, on November 5 and 6, it’s Apple Festival, complete with a pie-eating contest, which’ll be divided by age, naturally. I mean, what satisfaction is there in out-eating an eight-year-old—again?

Not enough to eat local? You need to see where it comes from, too? Then plan to head to Bethlehem Sept. 17 for the Monocacy Farm Food Festival, where you’ll be able to munch on a smattering of stuff grown on the 10-acre organic farm as you tour the grounds. The Monocacy Farm Project, which the festival benefits, was established a few years ago. Under its umbrella resides a CSA, community gardens, all-ages educational programming and a community service garden dedicated to supporting low-income families, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t include the TASTE Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine and Spirits October 21 through Oct. 23 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, because, full disclosure, we’re a media sponsor. Every day’s loaded with celebrity chef demos, featuring the likes of Charles Oakley (yep, that Charles Oakley), Ashley Sherman (lead cook from “Hell’s Kitchen,” season 13) and Will Brown (a frequent enabler on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”). And they’re not even the headliners. That’d be Ayesha Curry, whose demo is Oct. 22, and Kevin O’Leary, who’ll be hosting a tasting of his wines Oct. 21.