Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Wishing for you all the Joy of this season & for this Joy to carry you into and sustain you in the New Year!
Merry Christmas!!!!
{Smock Paper Holiday Card}

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

{The Holiday Season: Last Minute Gifts}

With Christmas only being a week away (what?!), I know there are several of us who are or will be searching for those last minute gifts, stocking stuffers, or both.  Well, I just thought that I would suggest some places to shop for those last minute gifts and stocking stuffers instead of recommending specific items.  Here at the Olive Basket, my goal has been to bring attention, exposure, and some local love to local boutiques that are in the area.  I have focused a lot on the area that I live in currently because I have just had so much fun exploring my new surroundings and discovering all the unique boutiques that abound in Central Texas.  My hope with all of my posts is to bring these unique and lovely places that inspire me to you in hopes that you might visit these fabulous boutiques and be inspired too.
{Find a directory of your local shops @ Restylesource}
So, during this season of hustle and bustle and last minute gift pick-ups, I would like to encourage you to shop your local boutiques for those last minute finds.  Your local shops will have the BEST selection and the most unique selection and they will provide the most personal and relaxed service you can find this time of year.  So even though you are picking up your gifts last minute, your recipients will appreciate the one-of-a-kindness of their gift, and your local shops will truly appreciate your support and your business.  So, here is a selection of some of my very favorite local shops here in Central Texas, but also in my hometown of Evergreen, CO, and my nearby home-city of Denver.  Please check them out if you live in one of these areas, and if you don't, explore and find some of your local boutiques that are sure to be a hop, skip, and a jump away.  Happy Local Shopping!!!!

{Side Note: All the photos in this post are directly from the shops and resources listed - click on their links under their pictures to go directly to their Facebook Pages}

My Favorite Boutiques in Central Texas:
The Nest Box, Taylor TX
{The Nest Box - Taylor, TX}
Cherry Tree Creative Taylor TX
{Cherry Tree Creative - Taylor, TX}
Fourth Street Bakery Lexington, TX
{Fourth Street Bakery - Lexington, TX}
Petals Ink Austin TX
{Petals, Ink - Austin, TX}
Spice Village Waco TX
{Spice Village - Waco, TX}

My Favorite Boutiques in Evergreen, CO 
(my hometown!): 
The Comfortable Home Evergreen CO
{The Comfortable Home - Evergreen, CO}

Rustic Point Evergreen CO
{Rustic Point - Evergreen, CO}

Mountain Daisy Evergreen CO
{Mountain Daisy - Evergreen, CO}

Nellybelle Evergreen CO
{Nellybelle General Store - Evergreen, CO}

My Favorite Boutiques in Denver, CO (my home-city!):
Old Glory Antiques Denver CO
{Old Glory Antiques - Denver, CO}

The Perfect Petal Denver CO
{The Perfect Petal - Denver, CO}

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

{The Holiday Season: Delicious Gifts}

One of my most favorite things to do during the holidays is to bake, which really is one of my most favorite things to do any time of year.  A couple of years ago, my husband and I thought it would be fun to send our families (who all lived in other states at the time) sweetly wrapped boxes of our favorite Christmas cookies and treats.
{Photo Credit: Liebesbotschaft Blog}
The little special twist we added to the gift is that we sent a combination of our favorite treats that we each grew up traditionally having during the holidays.  So my family ended up with a box of some of our own favorite family treats mixed with a few of my husband's favorite family treats (which were completely new to my family) and we did the same for his family.  It was a fun way for us to celebrate our family traditions and recipes and honor the blending of our families too.  We enjoyed putting these boxes of happiness together for those we loved, and I think they were pretty well received too!
Sweet Paul Magazine Recipes
{Sweet Paul Magazine's Chocolate Chili Icebox Cookies - DELICIOUS!}
If your putting together homemade gifts this year, I hope it is a sweet time for you as you select and prepare what your making and thinking of those on the receiving end of your homemade delights. You can find Kraft Paper Bags and adorable Gift Boxes at your local craft shops along with a huge selection of festive ribbons and bows.  I have also included here a few of my favorite packages and bows for homemade treats and some recipe links too that I am hoping to add to my repertoire this year.  Happy baking and making this holiday season!
Seasons and Suppers Holiday Baking
{Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut & Cocao Nib Sandies - photo, idea, & recipe courtesy of Seasons & Suppers}
Fried Herbed Almonds, Evermine Blog
{Fried Herbed Almonds - Photo & Idea Courtesy of Evermine Blog}
Will Cook for Friends Homemade Vanilla Extract
{Homemade Vanilla Extract - photo & idea courtesy of Will Cook for Friends}
Herb Honeys, Not Quite Nigella
{Herb Honeys - photo, idea, & recipe courtesy of Not Quite Nigella}

Shop Terrain Weck Jars
{Terrain's Weck Jar Sets - perfect for Jams, Chutneys, and Salts}
Knot and Bow Twine & Parcel Tags
{Knot and Bow's Glitter Red Twine & Parcel Tags - perfect for finishing touches!}

For more ideas on Holiday Treats and Delicious Gifts, follow me over on Pinterest!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Holiday Season: Christmas Cards

With the Holiday season upon us, I thought I would focus my next few posts on some of the things you may be doing as you enjoy this special time of year.  I know there can be a lot of hustle and bustle that goes on, but hopefully you are finding some time to enjoy the simple things of this season as well - time with family, cozy moments, a little play, and a little rest too.
Smock Paper, Letterpress Cards, Holiday Cards
{Card and photo credit: Smock Paper, Syracuse, NY}
I know the Holiday To-Do lists begin to grow long and the stress begins to grow in size as well, and my hope for you (and for us all) is that there are several things on our lists that we can find joy and meaning in doing.  One of those things for me is sending out Christmas Cards.  I know there are a lot ways to send out Christmas Cards these days - digital, photos, letters, etc. - but I am kind of old fashion I guess with continuing to send out good ole' cards with a simple handwritten note.  I love getting mail, especially handwritten letters and cards, so I try to honor my old fashion side with the sending out of cards each year.
Mint and Maple Designs, Holiday Cards
{Card and photo credit: Mint and Maple Designs, Austin, TX}
This has been something I have always done, and I enjoy doing, but honestly, sometimes it can be more of a task than a joy.  But this year, I am hoping to take this task and add to it a little bit of intentionality and a whole lot of joy!  The card and the message may be simple and the same for each recipient, but the difference I am shooting for this year is to think about each individual that I am sending a card to - think about the connection that I have with them, memories we have shared, special ways they have touched or even shaped my life, and to say a little prayer of thanksgiving and blessing over each one.  It will take time, sure, but that's okay.  My Christmas Card list is full of people that I care about and keep connection with, so it will be time that is well spent and will add joy to my Season.  
Smock Paper, Letterpress Cards, Holiday Cards
{Card and photo credit: Smock Paper, Syracuse, NY}
If you are a card sender too, I have included some favorites of mine in this post.  They are all from local artisans located around our amazing country.  And, I tend to love letterpress cards in particular because they have that handmade, artisan look and feel that appeals to me, so a few of these cards are from letterpress artisans.  Letterpress, by the way, is actually a printing technique that uses relief printing (ink applied to type and pressed against paper) and it has actually made somewhat of a revival in the printing world because of it's artisan touch.  There are lots of talented card designers and letterpress artisans out there, but these are some of my favorites.  Take a look at each of these and hopefully you will find a card set (or more!) that will send the message you are looking to send this Holiday.
Egg Press, Holiday Cards, Letterpress Cards
{Card and photo credit: Egg Press, Portland, OR}