A HOLIDAY SOIREE WITH THE BLUEGRASS BLOGGERS

When Nathan and I moved to Lexington 10 months ago, we didn’t know anyone. We were a newly engaged couple, with a cute little pup, trying to create a life together after having a long-distance relationship for two years! We both were excited to move to a new place, and had heard that the small city, hometown feel of Lexington would be welcoming but I will admit, it was still a little daunting not knowing a single person. Launching our blog just 8 short months after moving has not only provided a creative outlet for me personally, but has also allowed me to meet some really amazing woman and start forming meaningful connections with other bloggers who are chasing after similar goals. So when the opportunity arose to have a Holiday Soiree with 14 other bloggers from the beautiful bluegrass state, I jumped at the chance.

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On December 8th, we met a Jeptha Creed, a beautiful distillery in Shelbyville, KY about 20 minutes outside of Louisville. They have an absolutely gorgeous building that is both impressively large and eye-catching with it’s red color and A-Frame design. Jeptha is owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, who are committed to honoring their family heritage by following a ground to glass concept in which they strive to produce all the ingredients they use in their spirits. Jeptha not only has a strong bond to supporting local agriculture, they also have a powerful mission statement:

“ For us, the Creed in Jeptha Creed is simple: we are a family who believes in creating more than just great spirits, great food and a great time – we are creating an experience for our customers unlike any other.We’re all about honoring traditions and our heritage because, let’s face it, a lot of things were simpler back then. We love cutting through the chaos of today and going back to our roots. But we’re also driven, creative and more than just a little rebellious, and that means we love the idea of bringing back old fashion in new and exciting ways.

That Creed is our bond with our customers, and we live it every single day. We know better than anyone that you gotta raise a little hell to get a bit of heaven.”

That last line just FEELS like Kentucky, doesn’t it?! Jeptha Creed also has a beautiful interior space. We help our event in their warm and cozy bar area, but they also have a large, open space complete with a grand stone fireplace adjacent to the bar that would be perfect for a work event, party, or bridal/baby shower. And hey, if you are still looking for something to do on New Years, they are hosting a New Years Eve party complete with hors d'oeuvres, live band, and of course BOURBON!

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For our event, everyone was asked to contribute something to make it FABULOUS! And thats the great thing about my new-found blogger fam, they sure do not disappoint when it comes to putting together a PARTY! My friend Maya from Pugs and Paprika made these delicious Parmesan Sausage Cups, Whitney of Fabulous in Fayette made a savory Sriracha Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons, and my foodie friend Leela from Lex Eats made these perfectly soft and chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies….of which I ate about 5 haha. I also made a Crescent Wrapped Brie with Fig Jam that was a big hit and looked super festive! Not only was the food amazing, but the holiday decor and other festive elements really brought this entire event together beautifully! Porscha of Mommy and Ministry brought her infamous Bar Cart and Lindsay from Bourbon & Lipstick pulled out an endless amount of holiday decorations from her bag haha!

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You can’t forget about the awesome swag bags that Tif from Bright on a Budget and Nicole of What Nicole Wore help to put together! I made these Pine Wreath Gift Tags for the bags, and they turned out so cute! Special thanks to Barrel Down South , Mirabelle Creations , Work the Metal and Drake’s for providing the items for the goodie bags!

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Photography by Jen Folio

Our event was held at Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville, KY. Thank you to Jeptha Creed for graciously hosting us!

Special thanks to all the vendors who contributed to making our event beautiful : Hillenmeyer Christmas Shop , Mirabelle Creations , Lexington Lettering , and Whole Foods-Lexington .

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Visit these other Kentucky bloggers for more details on our Holiday Soiree!

Tif Fanin | Bright on a Budget

Abbie Chambers | @absofab

Nicole Green | What Nicole Wore

Whitney Scheibel | Fabulous in Fayette

Ryann Brown | Styled in Blue

Anna Kate Goshko | Project Stepmom

Emily Gahafer | Emily Inspired KY

Maya Griffin | Pugs and Paprika

Lindsay Latimer | Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilletos

Courtney Hastings | Kentucky Girl Ramblings

Jenny Hansen Lane | Jen Folio Photography

Leela Foley | Lex Eats

Porscha Coney | Mommy and Ministry

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CRESCENT WRAPPED BRIE WITH FIG JAM

We are right in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, which means both hosting and being a guest to all the holiday parties. I love to cook as much as the next person, but I don’t always like to spend hours in the kitchen..especially if I am personally hosting an event or dinner. I’m too much of a social butterfly to be stuck in the kitchen. So when a group of 15 Kentucky bloggers came together to host a holiday event at Jeptha Creed Distillery , I knew this appetizer would be absolutely perfect. You can easily put this dish together in about 10 minutes. Plus the combination of sweet fig, tangy brie and deliciously light and fluffy dough is to die for! This is one of my new favorite appetizer recipes to make for any occasion, and I hope it becomes yours as well! Enjoy!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 1 can crescent rolls

  • 1 round Brie cheese

  • 1 jar fig jam

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • Cranberries + rosemary or pine for garnish

  • Assorted crackers or mini-toasts for serving

WHAT TO DO


  1. Heat oven to 350

  2. Unroll crescent dough, separate crosswise into 2 sections.  Press each section into 6-inch square, firmly pressing perforations to seal 

  3. Place cheese in center of first dough square

  4. Top with fig jam

  5. Place the other square of dough on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese, making sure all cheese is covered

  6. Brush dough with beaten egg

  7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown

  8. Serve warm with crackers

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There were so many great dishes at our event! My friend Maya from Pugs and Paprika made these delicious Parmesan Sausage Cups, Whitney of Fabulous in Fayette made a savory Sriracha Caesar Salad with homemade croutons, and my foodie friend Leela from Lex Eats made these perfectly soft and chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies….of which I ate about 5 haha. Not only was the food amazing, but the holiday decor and other festive elements really brought this entire event together beautifully! Stay tuned for my full blog post on the entire event coming this week!

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Photography by Jen Folio

Thank you to Jeptha Creed in Louisville, KY for hosting our holiday event.

Special thanks to all the vendors who contributed to our event and goodie bags: Barrel Down South , Hillenmeyer Christmas Shop , Mirabelle Creations , Work the Metal , Drake’s , Lexington Lettering , and Whole Foods-Lexington .

Visit these other Kentucky bloggers for more holiday inspiration!

Tif Fanin | Bright on a Budget

Abbie Chambers | @absofab

Nicole Green | What Nicole Wore

Whitney Scheibel | Fabulous in Fayette

Ryann Brown | Styled in Blue

Anna Kate Goshko | Project Stepmom

Emily Gahafer | Emily Inspired KY

Maya Griffin | Pugs and Paprika

Lindsay Latimer | Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilletos

Courtney Hastings | Kentucky Girl Ramblings

Jenny Hansen Lane | Jen Folio Photography

Leela Foley | Lex Eats

Porscha Coney | Mommy and Ministry

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PINE WREATH GIFT TAG

PHOTOGRAPHY BY  JEN FOLIO

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEN FOLIO

Wreaths are pretty anytime of the year, but in my opinion, they are especially beautiful around the holidays!  They are such an easy way to add a natural element and festive touch to a gift, space, etc. Plus I love a good DIY project!  So I decided to craft my own little mini pine wreath gift tags for a holiday event I participated in, where we would be exchanging gifts. I also think these itty bitty wreaths would be really pretty as place cards for a holiday dinner, or could even been used as a napkin ring holder too!  Regardless of how you use them, they are super easy to put together and can be made in about 10 minutes flat!  Scroll down for the instructions, and make these in time to add just the right amount of texture, color and fresh fragrance to your own holiday gift exchange or event!

CALLIGRAPHY BY  LEXINGTON LETTERING

CALLIGRAPHY BY LEXINGTON LETTERING

SUPPLIES

  • Greenery, fresh or artificial

  • Floral wire

  • Scissors

  • Handwritten name cards


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut greenery into 10” - 12” piece.  If using fresh greenery, you may need to trim off extra branches in order to get one straight piece.

  2. Cut floral wire into 6” piece, set aside

  3. Form the sprig of greenery into a circle

  4. Holding the greenery in place, wrap the floral wire around the joining ends, pulling tightly to secure

  5. Tie name cards onto the front of the wreaths, covering the wire ( I used gift tags that came with gold ribbon, however you could easily make your own by punching a hole in the end of a card and using twine to create your own tie)

  6. Repeat until you have made a mini wreath for each guest

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HOLIDAY HOSTESS GIFT IDEA

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We are right in the midst of the holiday hosting season with family get togethers, ugly sweater parties, work soirée, etc…which means we are all going to be on the hunt for the perfect hostess gift !  If you’re like me, I never like to go to an event empty handed.  After all, ’tis the season of giving right?!  So today, I’m teaming up with Zing Zang to share with you a simple, easy gift basket idea that is sure to impress any event hostess this holiday season! 

I think it is easy to get stumped when it comes to hostess gifts and fall into the trap of just grabbing a bottle of wine and calling it a day.  Not that I would ever turn my nose up at a bottle of wine...or prosecco in my case. But it’s more meaningful to get creative with your gift giving! So, my best piece of advice is to think outside the box when it comes to your hostess gift. That’s why I think this gift basket is always such a big hit! It’s simple + thoughtful and most importantly…useful!

Before I start looking for items to fill the basket with, I like to come up with an overall theme. This will help to make your gift basket more cohesive, and also keep you focused on specific items when shopping! For this particular basket, I decided to go with a Holiday Brunch theme, focusing on the ever-popular Bloody Mary! I found these individual cans of Bloody Mary Mix from Zing Zang, and knew they would be PERFECT for my gift basket! Not only are they just the right size, but they are also super convenient as well. The great thing about this particular Bloody Mary mix, is that it tastes amazing on its own OR mixed with your favorite vodka. So even if your hostess does not drink alcohol, they will still enjoy.

To put this gift basket together, all you have to do is find a pretty basket that fits your hostess’ home decor or style.  I found this lovely grey, modern metal basket that I thought would work perfectly. I then added a couple items that would aid in putting together the perfect holiday Bloody Mary including this beautiful marble cutting board, a jar of olives for a garnish, pretty gold-etched cocktail glasses, a pack of holiday kitchen towels, fun cocktail napkins and a festive set of wooden coasters.  And of course, you can’t forget the star of the show: the Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix!

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To put this gift basket together, all you have to do is find a pretty basket that fits your hostess’ home decor or style. I found this lovely grey, modern metal basket that I thought would work perfectly! I then added a couple items that would aid in putting together the perfect holiday Bloody Mary including this beautiful marble cutting board, a jar of olives for a garnish, pretty gold-etched cocktail glasses, a pack of holiday kitchen towels, fun cocktail napkins and a festive set of wooden coasters. And of course you can’t forget the star of the show: the Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix!

Once I have everything together and arranged how I like, I added some fresh greens to make the basket a little more festive! Plus, they smell good! There you have it…a quick, and affordable hostess gift idea! I also think this particular gift basket would work perfect for the cook in your life or any fellow Bloody Mary lovers….like myself!!

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Thank you to Zing Zang for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you to all of you for supporting the brands that help make Sam and Nate Blog possible.

5 EASY WAYS TO COZY YOUR HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Once the leaves start changing colors and the air turns cool and crisp, you know the holiday season is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you look forward each year to getting your home cozy for the winter season. There’s just something about the twinkling lights, the cozy textures, and the faint smell of pine that is magical! Whether you are hosting out of town guests or just spending time together as a family, I’ve got some simple, budget-friendly ideas that can transform your home into a festive gathering place for all to enjoy. Today, I have teamed up with SugarBoo & Co. to share 5 easy ways to cozy your home for the holidays. Seasons Greetings!

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1. Throw Pillows and Cozy Blankets

Switch out your lightweight cotton throw blankets and pillows for more wintery textures like chunky knits, faux fur, velvet and patterns like plaid. Adding accent pieces like a plaid throw to your sofa, or incorporating soft, plush pillows is an easy way to create warmth without much effort. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy snuggling up with a soft blanket or faux fur pillows?! I also like to display spare blankets and pillows in a woven basket for easy storage and access for guests to grab as needed.

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2. Bring Nature Indoors

One of my favorite budget friendly ways to add festive touches to a space is greenery! Simply go outside and collect your favorite wintery elements like curling branches, fallen pieces of wood, and all different hues of different pine and greens. If thats not an option for you, you can easily find reasonably priced greenery at grocery stores like Trader Joes or Whole Foods, as well as local nurseries. The good thing about greenery is that it is long lasting, especially if you make an arrangement where you can add water, and super low maintenance. Another favorite trick is to invest in a good faux boxwood or evergreen wreath! This is a great investment piece because you can display it all year long, and just add simple touches to transition it from season to season! For the holidays, I like to add pretty ribbon and hang over artwork, or use as a table centerpiece around a large pillar candle.

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3. Create Ambience

Placing scented candles around your home is a classic and affordable way to create ambience in your home. I switch out my candles with the changing seasons, but in my opinion they bring an extra sense of coziness during the winter season. I like to use them as accent pieces around the home, or stack on a tray as a centerpiece display. Select a fragrance that reminds you of the holiday season such as pumpkin spice, balsam pine, or a classic warm scent like sandalwood. Plus candles stored in pretty canisters double as decorative pieces as well!

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4. Mix Metallics

Throw out the notion that all your metals need to match because this holiday season its all about mixing your metallics! Mixing metals adds a timeless elegance to your space, and using accent pieces like mercury glass candle holders adds a warm, festive touch for the holidays. Mixed metal items are another example of investment pieces that can transition from season to season. Simply add candles, decorative greenery, or cute garland and you can instantly transform these pieces into holiday-ready decor!

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5. Center of Attention

The holiday season is the perfect occasion to get a little fancy and add some glitz and glamour to your home! Ornaments aren’t just for the tree, think outside the box! One of my favorite budget-friendly tricks is to nestle beautiful ornaments or oversized string beads in a decorative glass bowl to make a statement centerpiece. Or display some of your favorite ornaments nestled on a bookshelf or on a coffee-table tray for all to enjoy!

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I hope you all enjoyed my 5 ways to cozy your home for the holidays, and hopefully it inspired you to think of creative, inexpensive ways to add festive touches to your holiday decor! What are some of your favorite ways to cozy up your home? I’d love to know in the comments below! As always, thank you for reading and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

XX-SAM and NATE