Even with all the commercialism, the chaos, and the over-sentimentality, this season really is the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays provide an opportunity to get intentional - to reach out to others, to make gifts and special food, to wish "Season's Greetings" to a stranger that you'd have otherwise ignored.
No space (or patience) for an actual Christmas tree? This DIY idea looks plenty festive, plus it leaves no mess at all. Bu-bye pine needles!
This year, I'm forgoing all my traditional holiday cookie recipes, and making nothing but these: Triple Layer Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups. Try saying that three times fast.
I love the festivity of string lights and paper lanterns for the holidays, and they're so easy to come by cheaply at the discount store. Except that, well, they look like cheap paper lanterns from the discount store. So, I came up with a way to put an arty spin on this classic - the perfect way to add a touch of modern to your holiday decor.
The last of the Thanksgiving leftovers have been polished off, the bombardment of black cyber deals are (hopefully) over, and it's time to settle in to the real grooves of the holiday season, and use it as a special occasion to spend time with the people you like best.
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.
Food artists Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves created this stunning mini-architectural models of some of the world's most famous art museums...using only gingerbread and candy.
This holiday season, I wanted to come up with rustic, outdoor-themed ornaments. I love combining real, organic materials with modern tools and technology, and this project marries those perfectly: a natural tree branch slice is printed with a photograph that's been digitally edited and enhanced for just the right look. To pull it off, I teamed up with Adobe to use their new Photoshop Elements 12 application to process the image and get it ready to live in the physical world. It's super easy to use, but still full of all kinds of features that are perfect for doing art and craft projects.
Whether you're actually looking to buy a kitchen gadget or piece of gear for a man, or just fulfilling your mom's wish to "send her a list," here are my (Gabriel's) ten picks for some serious food-oriented holiday gifts. I found some not-so-common gifts (other than cooking books), cause honestly, those who love to spend time in the kitchen probably already have all the staples. Take a look!
The holiday season always brings a bit of extra style uncertainty: our gathering and get together potential goes way up, and we're never quite sure how dressy an event might be. We bounce around from work to drinks with friends to Christmas light watching to office party to holiday shopping... all with a variety of co-soireers. Plus, your inside and outside and hot and cold and everywhere in between.
The solution: a sweater. In this case, a V-neck that can go from a casual cold weather day
If there was ever a time for opening a champagne bottle with a sword, the holidays is that time. You don't actually need a sword - a chef's knife will do - but I figure this is just one of those things a man should know how to do. And since this is also the season of fizzy, corked bottles of sparkling cider and grape juice, you can snag a few more affordable bottles to practice without having to waste any bubbly.
Whether you're actually looking to buy some clothing and gear for a man, or just fulfilling your mom's wish to "send her a list," here are my (Gabriel's) ten picks for style-oriented holiday gifts.
Designer Anthony Herrera has released a brand new set of Star Wars snowflake templates, free for downloading and making en masse as you settle into the holiday season.
Last week, a great friend sent me a message asking if I could hang out this week, while he's on a bit of work break. I replied with a "Sure, I'm free on Tuesday and Thursday evenings."
Him: Thursday is Valentine's Day.
Me: Oh, right. Are you going to do something?
Him: Yeah, aren't you?
Me: Let's make it Tuesday.
We all know the story. Most of us could recite the narrative from memory, and probably not miss any key points. But, this holiday season, I decided to snuggle up to the original, and read the whole of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
And? It's good. It's really good. Dickens is a good writer...duh. It's festive and seasonal, and the template for what many of us think of as an old fashioned Christmas...also duh. But something else happened to me, and I think you should read it, too. Not in the "let's gather 'round the fire while dad recites " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." sorta way, but because this is a book about men.
If you can't manage to make a gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list, you can always add a little personal touch by DIYing your own custom gift wrap. Not only do each of these relatively easy projects convey a handmade look and appeal, most of them can be specifically customized to the recipient, so you can be sure they'll know you took the extra step. There are roughly a gajillion DIY gift wrap projects about online, so I picked five that could particularly work from a masculine perspective, whether you're giving as or to a guy.
And, don't worry, there's no animal hides or power tools required. Unless you want there to be...
Just So You Know, Roasted Chestnuts are Totally Delicious, and You Should Make Some this Holiday Season
I've never had a sugarplum, and I'm still not totally sure what figgy pudding actually is, but of one traditional holiday treat I'm convinced: roasted chestnuts are amazing. And not like in that quaint, old timey "I could see why people thought these were tasty before we figured out how to make more delicious things" (like hard candy or [in my case] jelly beans), but in a "this things are awesome no matter what century it is."
Got an open fire? Go for it. But since most of us aren't quite used to heat control with a giant blazing inferno, roasting chestnuts in the oven is more than an okay way to go. If you've never had one, the trick to
Happy Holidays, ManMakers! Each year, I make this confession: I'm a total obsessive geek about collecting "modern rock" holiday songs: seasonal tunes by alternative, indie, and otherwise not-Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole artists. This year, my collection broke 500, making for thirty-two hours of non-cheesy holiday goodness.
No, they're not all completely amazing, but most are solid, and they serve as the soundtrack to my season, and, coupled with a candy cane, the most immediate way to inject the holiday spirit into my home and...uh, self. So, each year, I pick a few of my favorite tunes to share with ye merry gentlemen and women.
Along with egg nog and fruitcake, cranberries are amoung the most divisive holiday foodstuffs. Those who like 'em like 'em, and those who don't will likely not change their mind.
But nobody not nobody won't dig on this mesmerizing video of professional wakeboarders Ben Horan and Brian Grubb being pulled through the flooded bogs of Wisconsin, filmed in all its high-speed, colorful wavemaking, undulating goodness.
A crew from RedBull visited "[traveled] to Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, for one of the most aesthetically pleasing wakeskating sessions you will ever see. Watch what happens when some of the world's best wakeskaters take
As far as hot chocolate fans go, I'm among the biggest. Especially during December. I like it all kinds of ways - thick Mexican drinking chocolates with a churro, the powdered milk-cocoa mix from the stand at the holiday light show at the zoo, and the fancy versions from my local coffee shop. And marshmallows? I'm for 'em.
Especially if they're homemade. Like lots of food crafts, the difference between a who-knows-how-old factory made 'shmallow and the pillowy complexity of a homemade version are simply incomparable. And while I like storebought marshmallows just fine, I love a homemade one. Especially when it's infused with holiday