ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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We love putting together specially-curated gift guides for everyone’s favorite holidays. But today, I wanted to make a special Mother’s Day gift guide for anyone still looking for last-minute ideas.

Earlier this week I sent out an email to the D-Hap team asking, “What are you getting your mom/grandmother/godmother/special lady for Mother’s Day and why?” Here’s what I got:

Mother's Day Gift Guide1. Williams-Sonoma 3. HGTV.com 4. West Elm 5. Echo Design 6. DIYNetwork.com

1. Spiralizer + Cookbook“I’m getting my mom this spiralizer and cookbook from Williams-Sonoma. She mentioned this gadget to me months ago, and luckily, I remembered! We’re a family who loves to cook, and cook together, and I’m excited to test a few recipes out with her during Mother’s Day weekend.” — Alyssa Sparacino

2. Mini Fern Garden. ”My mom has a deep love of gardening, so this year I’m making her a miniature fern garden so she can bring the outdoors in. This faceted Cynthia Rowley planter is too perfect filled with ferns, mosses and miniature vines. I love it so much I made one for myself, too!” — Marianne Canada

3. Handmade Hanging Basket. “While I sometimes have trouble finding the “perfect” gift for my handmade item-loving Mom for other holidays, I always get her the same thing for Mother’s Day: a hanging basket. Since she’s an avid flower gardener, she counts on the fact that my sister and I will replenish the blooms on her front porch. My sister always gets Mom a trailing fuchsia plant, while I switch it up from year to year, but always pick out something that coordinates with the pink-and-purple flowers. This year, I’m making it extra-special by planting a custom mix of plants in a pretty hanging planter.” — Liz Gray

4. Sweet Hedgehog Planter. “My mother and I have a fondness for hedgehogs and also for gardening, so when I spied this whimsical earthenware planter from West Elm, I knew it had to be mine. I bought a version for myself, too. (I am a mother after all!) I’ll pot my mother’s up with succulents for gift-giving and include a gift basket with some favorite Riesling from a recent trip to Asheville, N.C., some luxurious garden-to-shower bath products and a few little surprises, many of them garden-related, for good measure.” — Felicia Feaster

5. eReader Protector. I actually have no idea what to get my mom this year, so she’s probably going to end up with a restaurant gift card or something. She always has a beach trip planned for the end of May, so in the past I’ve gotten her this terrycloth beach reader to protect her Kindle, which is her number one beach companion, and this luxe cover because it stays put on the beach chaise lounger. — Beth Rucker

6. Homemade Spa Kit. For this Mother’s Day I’m making my mom some homemade bath salts with sea salt, almond oil and essential oils of lavender and rosemary. It will be wrapped up with a luxurious body lotion and a yummy candle. — Michelle Edgemont

Now we want to know: what are you getting that special woman for Mother’s Day? Let us know in the comments below! 

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When Mother’s Day rolls around, some people join forces with siblings to brainstorm gift ideas – or perhaps for a bit of sibling rivalry over who can find the best gift. Others, like me, only have furry siblings, which has its advantages: I’m always the best gift-giver by default, and I never have to look too far for a present for Mom. If there’s one thing I can count on, it’s that my mom loves animals and, by extension, animal-related gifts. If your parent is as devoted to her pets as mine is, here are some fun Mother’s Day gifts.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for the Pet Lover1. PersonalizationMall.com / 2. Etsy / 3. Society6 / 4. West Elm / 5. ModCloth / 6. ModCloth

1. Personalized Pet Pillow. Give your mom a personalized keepsake of her pet with this pillow. Choose between 12 cat graphics or 12 dog graphics, then add three messages that define her furry companion. Depending on your mom’s sense of humor, you can take a heartfelt approach (“loving friend”) or a cheeky one (“hairball queen.”)

2. Dog Breed Necklace. IvyByDesign‘s Etsy shop features sterling silver necklaces (with a personalized engraving option) in a wide range of dog and cat breeds. Whether Mom is fond of Dachshunds or Dobermans, you’ll likely find her four-legged friend of choice here.

3. Dogs Are Better Than People Tote. We all know it’s true – say it loud and proud with this tote. Hand sewn in America, this bag is machine-washable and double stitched at seams and stress points so it’s super sturdy.

4. Animal Icon Bath Trays. Bring a touch of charm to Mom’s bathroom countertops with these ceramic trays. Choose between three playful designs (rabbit, fox or pig) in a classic black-and-white color scheme.

5. Cat Tea-for-Two Set. If Mom’s a cat owner and a tea drinker, she’ll love this adorable tea-for-two set. It includes a pair of petite cups with polka dot trim, plus an onyx black teapot topped with a lid that looks like a playfully peeking feline. There’s also a removable strainer that makes brewing loose leaf tea a breeze.

6. Cat Person Circle Scarf. Let your stylish mom show off her affinity for felines with this cute infinity scarf. Black cat silhouettes dot the semi-sheer, mint-hued fabric.

What type of gift is always a hit with your mom? Pet gifts? Jewelry? Tasty treats? Tell us in the comments below.

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If you’re as lucky as me, you grew up with a mom that loved to cook and bake. Every night, we had dinner made from scratch and made with love. When Mother’s Day rolls around every year, I know I can’t go wrong with a gift she can use and enjoy in her beloved kitchen. See my favorite items that I think any mom-turned-gourmet-chef would love to receive.

Mother's Day Gift Guide for the Cook1. Anthropologie / 2. Williams-Sonoma / 3. Yellow Owl Workshop / 4. BHLDN / 5. Miette / 6. Gourmet Blends

1. Butterfly Field Apron. Does your mom host a lot of parties? She can look stylish while prepping meals in front of her guests with this floral-print apron. The combination of modern and vintage style will help Mom look good even though she may be making a mess.

2. Monogram Cutting Board. If the mom in your life loves to grill, then look no further. This monogram cutting board is two gifts in one — a birch wood board and an iron brand with your mom’s initials. Surprise her by initialing the cutting board before giving it to her, then give the iron initials so she can brand all her future grilling meals.

3. Personalized Stamp Kit. This stamp kit is a great gift for the mom who often times gifts her edible creations. The personalized stamp will let all her gift recipients know their treat was made with love from her very own kitchen.

4. Gold-Dipped Ceramic Cake Serving Set. Although this serving set looks like something to save for a special occasion, Moms who have finer taste will want to bring these beauties out any day.

5. Miette Pastry Cookbook. If you’re familiar with San Francisco, you may know the infamous Miette pastry shop. No matter where Mom lives, she can mimic the shop’s recipes in her kitchen with the Miette pastry cookbook. Bonus: Maybe Mom will let you be her taste tester.

6. Blood Orange-Infused Olive Oil. If your mom is ready to try something new in the kitchen, give her something she hasn’t tried yet, like specialty olive oils. To accompany the oils, look up recipes online that specifically call for these infusions and print them out on pretty card stock.

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I’ll be embarking on my 7th journey to sunny Mexico in three weeks (eek!), so I’m currently obsessed with all things taco and tequila. But to be honest, I adore everything about Mexican culture; the people, the crafts and of course, the food. So needless to say, I’ll be going all out for my Cinco de Mayo celebrations on Tuesday with a full day of cooking and eating. Join me in celebrating with these fiesta-worthy recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more!

BREAKFAST: PIONEER WOMAN’S HEARTY BURRITOS

Image courtesy of Food Network

¡Buenos días! Get your day going with a hearty breakfast burrito that’s just spicy enough to wake you up. This recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, kicks off the festivities with hot sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeños and crispy potatoes. Get the recipe here >>

LUNCH: CARNE ADOBO SKEWERS + AVOCADO FRIES

Carne adobo skewers and avocado fries

Set the patio table and gas up the grill for a lunch of fresh carne adobo skewers paired with some crispy avocado fries — a unique take on Mexico’s most famous fruit.

APPETIZER: QUESO FUNDIDO

Quick and easy queso fundido recipes

Switch up the plain queso this year with these three easy and flavorful queso fundido dips that will satisfy meat lovers, seafood fans and vegetarians alike. Simply serve them with warm tortillas chips. Get the recipes here >>

Tortilla chips also pair great with this go-to guacamole >>

More Fiesta-Worthy Bites

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I’ll just come right out and say it: I’m a mama’s girl. So naturally, Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. My mom is a rock star and it’s so much fun showering her with love on her special day. Whether you’re celebrating a mother, grandmother, sister, friend or mother figure this May, let her know how amazing she is with some of our favorite DIY gift and project ideas.

DIY Ideas for Mom

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Let the kiddos get in on the food prep this Easter with these fun, easy and super adorable recipe ideas that require minimal ingredients and no baking. Plus, each recipe contains either fruits, dairy or protein presented in a fun way for little ones with picky palates.

BUNNY PARFAIT

Bunny Parfait

Photo and recipe courtesy of Yoplait

Hop into spring with a tasty parfait made with layers of just three simple ingredients.

Yield: 1 parfait

  • 1 Yoplait Original French Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 small can sliced peaches or fresh sliced peaches
  • 1 handful Annie’s Honey Bunny Grahams

1. Layer yogurt and peaches in a bowl.

2. Top with a handful of bunny grahams.

HATCHING CHICK EGG

Hatching Chick Egg for Easter

Eggs — hard-boiled, deviled, dyed and plastic — are an Easter staple. But you can take a simple hard-boiled egg to the next level with a few simple materials and ingredients. Seriously, this is adorable.

Get the step-by-step instructions >>

More Fun Bites for Kids

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You’re never too old to decorate Easter eggs! So, while the kids are having their fun, you can have yours — cocktail in hand.

CHERRY PEEPS COCKTAIL

Cherry Peeps Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe by Michelle Edgemont

An unexpected take on a dessert cocktail, this creamy beverage is garnished with your favorite Easter treat — Peeps!

Get the recipe >>

DEW DROP COCKTAIL

Easter Dew Drop Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of Jung Lee and Clos du Bois

Serves One

  • 4 ounces Clos du Bois California Chardonnay
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1-2 ounces simple syrup
  • grapefruit slice, for garnish

1. Create a simple syrup by adding water and sugar to a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves, then remove pan from heat.

2. Shake all ingredients with ice, and serve in champagne coupes or vintage tea cups. Finish with a grapefruit slice.

4 More Spring Concoctions to Try

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I love celebrating Easter with a delicious brunch that celebrates sunshine, flowers and all things spring, but I’m terrible when it comes to planning ahead! I’ve been thinking about throwing an Easter brunch for my friends this year, and was looking for some tablescape inspiration (because like any true Southern gal who entertains, I take my table settings seriously), when I remembered a beautiful yet casual brunch setting by ladies at Caitlin & Caitlin from the sophisticated Los Angeles loft that was the winning entry in our Fresh Faces of Design contest.

Caitlin McCarthy and Caitlin Murray aren’t just a talented design duo; they also know how to entertain in style! The best part of this setup is that it’s elegant while managing to be casual and easy to pull together at the last minute, so it’s just the kind of inspiration I need to get my act together.

Loft Kitchen and Dining Room

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

The dining area is located in a pass-through between the kitchen and bedroom of Caitlin McCarthy’s 725-square-foot loft located in a 100-year-old former office building. This spot was once a bathroom, and the tile floor below the table is original to the space.

Dining Table Made From Garden Trellis

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

The table is made from a garden trellis set on a table base and topped with glass cut to fit the frame. Rather than opting for perfectly matched chairs, Caitlin McCarthy collected a variety of chairs she loved in various styles and colors. This look can work whether the mismatched look is intentional or not, which means it’s easy to accommodate as many friends at brunch as you can given your space and number of chairs.

Brunch Table Setting

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

I absolutely love this table setting. It’s another example of how items don’t have to match one another, as long as they complement each other. And see that flatware? Looks like hints of last month’s Color of the Month!

Brunch Decor and Grapefruit Cocktail

Design by Caitlin & Caitlin

Host the Perfect Easter Brunch

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Yes, I am an adult with no children who still decorates eggs every year. Why? It’s a blank canvas with endless possibilities, and there are always new techniques to try.

So hard-boil up a dozen or use an egg blower and a dremel to drain the eggshells without cracking them, allowing you to keep these decorated eggs for years to come. Then, try one of these fun new ways to dress up your eggs.

GET PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS EVERY TIME >>

GOLD-DIPPED EGGS

These industrial-inspired eggs are perfect for industrial-modern design lovers! Abby Larson, Founder/Editor of Style Me Pretty Living, used grape juice and vinegar to create the cool, concrete-inspired effect. Stop there for a version you can turn into egg salad — or add a gold accent for a decorative-only egg with lots of sparkle.

Gold Dipped Marbled Eggs

Image courtesy Abby Larson/Style Me Pretty Living

MATERIALS

  • grape juice
  • white vinegar
  • white eggs
  • glass or metal bowl
  • gold paint

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Hard boil or blow out your eggs. (If hard boiled, keep in mind these eggs will not be edible later. If blown out, you will need to place something on top of the bowl to keep the eggs covered in the dye).

Step 2: Mix equal parts grape juice & vinegar in a bowl, enough to submerge your eggs. Place eggs in the bowl and leave overnight.

Step 3: The next day, remove eggs from the bowl and rinse off. Use a paper towel to rub away the foamy layer, revealing the marbled surface.

Step 4: Dip egg partially into a cup of gold paint. Place upside-down in egg carton to dry.

Step 5: Place in a bowl on your Easter table to enjoy!

Gold-Dipped Marbled Easter Eggs From HGTV.com

Image courtesy Abby Larson/Style Me Pretty Living

4 MORE EASTER EGG DIYS

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Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Jennifer H.!

Believe it or not, Easter is the second highest candy-consuming holiday in America — right behind Halloween, of course. It’s no wonder, with several popular candy brands featuring Easter editions every year. Who wouldn’t love egg-shaped chocolates covered in pastel-colored candy coating? If you aren’t quite sure which candy to fill your kids’ (or your own) baskets with this year, we’ve listed our favorites you can buy — or if you’re feeling ambitious — DIY!

DIY: Chocolate Coconut Candy

These white- and dark-chocolate covered coconut balls have a delicious filling made with real raspberries. Place them in your kid’s Easter basket, or wrap them in cellophane for guests to enjoy after Easter brunch.

Chocolate Coconut Candy

Get the Recipe>>

MORE CANDY TO BUY OR DIY

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As you guys have probably figured out by now, I just love a pretty dining table. But let’s be real: who can afford to completely trick out their table for every major holiday? I certainly can’t. With this in mind, I set out to create a fresh, pretty Easter table setting made from materials you can find at the grocery store for literally just a few bucks: Coffee filter flowers.

Make Your Own Coffee Filter Flowers

Want to make this project for your Easter table? Click through to learn how to make this project.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

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The recent arrival of spring can mean only one thing: Easter with all its colored-egg-and-chocolate-bunny-awesomeness is right around the corner. And, what do you need to hold said eggs and candy? A cute Easter bucket, of course!

Handmade Feathered Chick Easter Bucket

Make your own with our step-by-step instructions >>

Yes, I said “bucket” not “basket.” Readily available at your local hardware or craft store, a bucket is a great stand-in for a traditional Easter basket because its smooth sides allow for all kinds of crafty creativity. Plus, it’s just the right size for stashing your kid’s stuff — like small toys or art supplies — the other 364 days of the year.

Easy and inexpensive (you just need a bucket and a few craft-store materials), this is one project you can tackle while watching a favorite show. Get crafting with these step-by-step instructions:

Handmade Feathered Chick Easter Bucket

Looking for more original Easter ideas? From recipes to egg-dyeing tips to easy decorating ideas, we’ve got you covered. Just hop on over to HGTV’s Easter Central, then be sure to share your Easter ideas and tips with us in the comments below.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, party people! I couldn’t pass up this holiday without sharing some downright mouthwatering cocktails that just happen to be — you guessed it — green. (Or, topped with green sprinkles at least!)

SOMETHING DECADENT

Irish Root Beer Float Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of Elegant Affairs

  • 1 ounce Root Beer Schnapps
  • 1 bottle root beer soda
  • 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • ice
  • whipped cream, for garnish
  • green sugar crystals, for garnish

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender, except for the soda.

2. Pour into a frosted beer mug or an Irish coffee mug, then pour in the soda.

3. Top with whipped cream and green sugar crystals for a sweet and festive touch.

SOMETHING REFRESHING

Lucky Leprechaun Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of SVEDKA Vodka

  • 2 ounces SVEDKA Vodka
  • 3/4 part fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 part simple syrup
  • 4 mint sprigs
  • green sugar crystals, for garnish

1. Create a simple syrup by adding water and sugar to a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves, then remove pan from heat.

2. Muddle mint at the bottom of a Pilsner glass and build your drink on top over crushed ice (except for bitters, mint and sugar crystals).

3. Agitate with a spoon (or swizzle), making sure not to disturb the mint at the bottom.

4. Top with ice, rim with green sugar crystals and garnish with mint.

SOMETHING HEALTHY

Green Leprechaun Kale Cocktail Recipe

Photo and recipe courtesy of Sakara Life

  • 4 ounces tequila (or any spirit you prefer)
  • 1 ounce ginger juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup kale juice
  • 1/2 lime
  • ice, for shaking
  • frozen pomegranate seeds, for garnish

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, liquor, ginger juice, pineapple juice, kale juice and lime.

2. Shake until all ingredients are mixed together and drink is chilled from the ice.

3. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

4. Top with frozen pomegranate seeds and an extra squeeze of lime.

What festive recipes are you whipping up today? Let us kn0w (aka share your yummy secrets!).

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So, I’m with Marianne. I don’t love St. Patrick’s Day. I do, however, adore the color green and love a good party, so cheers! With only a few days until the BIG day, you’re probably looking for ways to celebrate. Luckily, everything we have is green and filled with Irish charm.

St. Patrick's Day Party Ideas

1. Wear This: Felt Shamrocks. As I’ve gotten older, my fear of being pinched on March 17 has dissolved. However, I love sporting at least a little bit of green for the sake of tradition. These felt shamrocks are simple to make and you can rock them in your hair, on your shirt or any other way you can think of. Seriously, once you make one, you won’t be able to stop.

2. Listen to This: The Irish Rovers. I don’t reserve Irish and Celtic folk music just for St. Patrick’s Day. These traditional Irish songs will have you on your feet and clinking mugs in no time.

3. Sip This: The “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” Cocktail. I said it last year and I’ll say it again: no green beer. It just doesn’t look right. But green cocktails? Now that’s something I’ll always nod to.

4. Decorate With This: Cute Dessert Toppers. Everything looks better with a little embellishment, even double-chocolate cupcakes (I know, right?). Download these (free!) printable toppers and add that extra touch to your dessert setup.

5. Eat This: Naked Rainbow Cake. I’m not sure what to say other than: make and devour this NOW. I mean, there are six (SIX!) layers of vanilla cake with six layers of vanilla buttercream frosting in rainbow hues. Glorious.

6. Make This: Lucky Party Banner. In reality, your party guests care about two things: booze and bites. If you want to add some festive flair to your digs, this banner is perfect. Download our (free!) printable banner template, cut out, add some twine and you’re all set.

More St. Patrick’s Day Inspo:

What are your St. Paddy’s Day party plans? Do you take part in any Irish traditions? Let us know in the comments below.

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I’m not a huge fan of stout beer, but I’ll tell you what I do love — food infused with stout. Up until recently, I didn’t know it tasted so delicious as a food ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. This St. Patrick’s Day, go beyond the bottle and incorporate stout in everything you’re serving at your party.

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Stout enhances the crunchy, salty taste of this homemade caramel popcorn. Serve it alongside beer or Irish whiskey to bring a true pub feel to the party.

Get the Full Recipe>>

Get 4 More Stout Recipes

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Can you believe we’re already two full months into 2015? The year is flying by and we’re diving into spring whether Mother Nature is playing along or not.

If you’re using Pinterest (and you’re following us, right?), allow us to kick-start your March inspiration with some of our most popular pins for this time of year.

St. Patrick’s Day

No surprise here. March is full of the luck of the Irish. From cocktails to crafts, there are lots of ways to get festive for St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s make sure you don’t get pinched.


1. DIY Felt Shamrock Craft 
2. Create a Leprechaun Garden
3. ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ Cocktail Recipe
4. Shamrock Garden Stones Craft

Garden Goodness

Snow days are fun and all, but boy are we ready to start digging in the dirt. The days of freshly picked tomatoes and strawberry shortcakes can’t come soon enough and these popular pins prove it.


1. 20 New Plant Varieties For Spring Gardens
2. How to Start an Edible Spring Garden
3. Create and Care for a Lavender Hedge
4. How to use Evergreens for Privacy

Spring Organizing

Along with spring cleaning comes spring organizing, especially in the rooms where we spend the most time. Neat and tidy kitchens, laundry rooms and mudrooms are getting lots of re-pin love this month.


1. 22 Mudroom and Storage Decorating Ideas
2. Genevieve Gorder at Home with HGTV Magazine
3. Inside Vern’s Dog-Friendly Home
4. Laundry Room of Smart Home 2013

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Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! Today marks the last day of the Carnival season, but the party is just getting started. Parades have been flowing through the streets of New Orleans since early this month, and floats are still making their way through with trinkets and treats in tow. Today’s final night of celebrations will surely be filled with lots of beads, booze and King Cake. (Jealous!)

If you’re stuck, well, not in the Big Easy, then we have eight delicious ways to bring the taste of N’awlins to wherever you may be. Just grab some beads, mix up a hurricane and (mentally) head down South.

Cajun-Style Gumbalaya

Take a trip to New Orleans with this Cajun-inspired dish. It’s a cross between gumbo and spicy jambalaya that’s perfect for those who just can’t decide which Louisiana entree they want. Get the recipe >> 

Shrimp Gumbo

Shrimp Gumbo Recipe

This spicy Cajun gumbo gets most of its flavor from the dark roux and its thickness from the herb file. Onions, celery and green peppers, major ingredients in both Creole and Cajun cooking, add flavor and substance to the shrimp and sausage stew. Get the recipe from FoodNetwork.com >>

More Big Easy Bites

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Guys sometimes get a bad wrap for buying Valentine’s Day gifts at the last-minute, but hey, ladies are procrastinators, too. (Read: me.) If you’re scrambling for the perfect gift, we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 thoughtful gifts you can make or buy just in time.

Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts for Guys

01. Whiskey Stones. Perfect for the scotch or bourbon enthusiast in your life, these rocks let him chill his drink without watering it down. Bonus points if you throw in rocks glasses or a bottle of his favorite brand.

02. “Attracted to You” Printable Card. Maybe your dude is lovably nerdy. Appeal to his punny nature with this scientific explanation for your magnetic attraction. Buy the design online, then print the template on cardstock.

03. Framed Album Covers. For the audiophile, look no further than these framed vinyl album covers. Search vintage store shelves for quirky or classic album covers, then frame in a basic black craft-store frame. Or, scan one of his favorites and print on cardstock.

04. Top Hat & Mustache Cufflinks. Does your guy love wearing vintage three piece suits? Is there a monocle on his dresser? These vintage-inspired cuff links are for him.

05. Breakfast Pizza. Okay, really, what guy wouldn’t love pizza for breakfast? Use store-bought or homemade pizza dough, then top with sauce and his favorite toppings and a sunny-side up egg. Done and done. See how Marianne makes her own.

Have a go-to last minute gift? Tell us in the comments below.

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No matter how you plan to spend Valentine’s Day (or with whom), it’s probably fair to assume there will be chocolate involved. Make it dark chocolate for a healthier sweet treat you’ll L-O-V-E.

Dark chocolate and cocoa are packed with antioxidants, a powerful agent against free radicals, which have been linked to serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease. So indulge in these dark chocolate recipes with your beau or a friend, and they could help protect your heart, even if it gets broken.

Smoldering Heart Dark Chocolate Cookies

heart shaped chocolate cookies

Image courtesy of The View From Great Island

These heart-shaped cookies stand out among the rest. Ditch the pink icing or red sprinkles, and opt for a more “smoldering” dark chocolate look. Cayenne powder in the shortbread cookie adds just the right amount of heat, and smoked paprika on the icing spices things up even more.

Get the full recipe at The View From Great Island

Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars

oatmeal chocolate bars

Image courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

This treat may be having an identity crisis: Is it a bar? A cookie? A brownie? But, who cares! They are healthy thanks to filling fiber in the oats, those antioxidants in the dark chocolate, and the recipe calls for coconut oil (jury still out on the potential benefits, there). Plus, they’re done in just 30 minutes flat!

Get the full recipe at Half Baked Harvest

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

chocolate cake

Image courtesy of Heather Christo

Looking at this decadent dark chocolate cake with chocolate-espresso icing you’d NEVER be able to guess its secret ingredient. Zucchini helps keep the cake super moist, and it’s a sneaky way to meet your veggie quota.

Get the full recipe from Heather Christo

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

chocolate dipped fruit

Image Courtesy of Marla Meridith

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a chocolate covered strawberry or five, but don’t discriminate against other fruit that taste equally delish dipped in the good stuff. Create a different kind of bouquet by dipping various berries in melted dark chocolate—blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries were all used here. Stick them on the end of a skewer, and place in a vase for easy access to healthy snacking.

Get the full recipe at Family Fresh Cooking

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

chocolate covered banana and peanut butter

Image Courtesy of Smile Sandwich

I personally love a recipe that calls for items you likely have in the cupboard already. Enter these bite-sized treats that have just four ingredients. Potassium from the bananas, protein from the nut butter, and antioxidants from the dark chocolate come together for a unique homemade sweet to share with whomever you choose.

Get the full recipe at Smile Sandwich

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Valentine's Day Gifts for Guys

For every dude that loves design, there’s one that considers a plastic basketball hoop designer decor. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to get your space into tip-top shape if you really want love to be swirling around like an air freshener. Follow these quick design tips to help make sure your date wants to seal the whole shebang with a kiss.

1. Threshold Woven Napkins. Snazz up your dinner table with some napkins that aren’t paper towels or leftovers from your last takeout order. These machine-washable numbers will up your class factor immediately.

2. Faux Fur Throw. Whether you drop this sucker over the back of your couch or put it at the end of your bed, there’s nothing that says “I’m design-savvy, now let’s snuggle” better than a fab faux fur throw.

3. Turkish Bath Towels. Yes, you can shut the door of your bathroom and hope no one goes in there, but you should probably just face the facts: someone will. To soften the blow, make sure they have some pretty towels to dry their hands.

4. Sonos Speakers. Play songs from your iTunes library, Pandora, Spotify or anywhere else you house your music. You can control it all with your iPhone or iPad, and the sound quality is ah-mazing.

5. Acrylic Frame. Sure, you could simply put a photo of you and your sweetheart in there … but you could also get creative. Write down an inside joke between the two of you, or include a picture of some place that the two of you have talked about going on vacation. Casually leave the frame out and wait for the magic to happen.

Make us proud, guys!

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