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Go-to Gifts for the Host and Hostess That Won’t Break The Bank!

13 Dec

Holiday parties are in full swing, and if you’re a good guest you know not to show up empty handed!  Here are a few host and hostess gift suggestions that won’t break the bank (all under $30) and will universally please the recipients. I’ve even added some personalization ideas for warmth and good cheer, too! My belief is that adding an edible element to your gift makes it all the more festive and wonderful — just be sure to emphasize to the host that there’s no need to include your edible contribution in their meal (sometimes it’s helpful to bring food or wine, but sometimes it upsets a carefully planned menu!.

Enjoy the suggestions, and your parties!

Marble Wine Cooler from Crate and Barrel ($26.95) + a bottle of your favorite vino

Marble Cooler + Wine = always a safe bet! (images via Crate and Barrel, Cape Classics)


Rustic White Cake Stand from Wisteria ($19) + a gorgeous confection

Neutral Plate + Tasty Cakes = perfection! (images via Wisteria, Georgetown Cupcake)

Farmer’s Market Basket from Anthropologie ($14.95) + colorful candies

Simple Basket + Festive Candies = fun treat! (images via Anthropologie, Dylan's Candy Bar...just be sure to ditch the wrapping and put the candies in the bowl!)


Do you have any go-to gifts? If so, share!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Thanksgiving Crafts for the Last Minute!

23 Nov

What a gorgeous pie! (image via Oh Happy Day)


There are lots of things to you today if you’re cooking for the big meal tomorrow. But if you’re not, or if you have kids who are old enough to do some crafting, or if you’re just interested in pulling an all-nighter doing as much as you can, then these three ideas below are for you!


This is a bowl of squash that my husband would approve he isn't very fond of the edible variety. (image via Martha Stewart Crafts)

Squash Bowl: Should you find yourselves with a few extra hours on your hands today (and about 10 unused butternut squashes, and various shades of paint) then you might enjoy putting together a game of squash bowling! This one is pretty self-explanatory and looks quite fun! This is actually a cute craft for general holiday decor: you can stencil names, words, or images directly onto the hard and durable flesh of the squash (just like you’d do a pumpkin!).


Love this idea! (via OhHappyDay via Anthology Mag)

Alphabet Soup Placecards: This idea is so simple and makes so much sense! Using some paper supplies, glue, and box of alphabet noodles, you just use the pasta letters to label everything from your placecards to your food IDs. You can find the tutorial here, with more images, from Oh Happy Day.


Gorgeous, and so clever! (image via WithSprinklesOnTop)

Thanksgiving Cupcakes: These look like small portions of veggies, mashed potatoes, and chicken (not pictured), but they’re actually cupcakes!  They’re called “TV Dinner cupcakes” but I’ve always thought “Thanksgiving!” when I see them. The how-to is contained in the book Hello Cupcake!, but as an owner of that book, I’ll give you the abridged version: turkey cupcake is a donut hole (to give shape) with icing and corn flakes (to give the cooked brown look) mounded on top, plus a white chocolate bone; the mashed potatoes are simple — white icing well with a yellow starburst (butter) and caramel (gravy); and the veggies are green icing with green M&Ms and orange starburst candies cut up like carrot nibs. Easy stuff, and SO neat looking! The blog where the above image comes from, With Sprinkles on Top, also has a simplified tutorial.

Happy Cooking Day, or last day of work…whatever it may be for you!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Furniture as Food, and Food as Furniture.

22 Aug

It’s Monday, and it’s hot, and there are a whole five more working days until another glorious three day weekend, so I thought I’d keep things light this morning. As I’m sure you’ve gleaned from reading any of my posts at all, I love food. Particularly sweets. So naturally I find furniture and fixtures MADE FROM CANDY to be worth at least five minutes of my blogging time. Check out some of these amazing, fun, and dare I say gaudy reinterpretations of home decor, all made with a sugared medium.

This appears to be a Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona Sofa, but it’s actually a real, edible cake by Leandro Erlich. Isn’t it amazing!  I makes me cringe just seeing them cut into it, but I bet it’s delicious!

Barcelona Cake! (image via Cake Wrecks)


This Button Bench from Jellio Furniture after my own heart: minimal with a punch of color.  In fact, I designed a very similar one for my thesis project almost four years ago. Incidentally, this image appears to be computer generated: I wonder if they’ve sold any…?

Button Bench (image via


Jellio Furniture makes some other interesting items too, including this Gummi Bear Chandelier. Unfortunately, it’s made from acrylic gummi bears, but the effect is the same (and longer lasting, I’m sure!).

Gummi Bear Chandelier (image via


Now this Gummi Bear Chandelier by artist YaYa Chou, is ALL REAL. Aesthetically, I prefer Jellio’s version, but I can’t deny that the craftsmanship on this piece is stunning.

Gummi Bear Chandelier by YaYa Chou (image source unknown)


Doesn’t this just make you want to run to the nearest convenience store for lunch and grab all of the candy bars you can find? Or is that just me….

Have a great week, everyone!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Butterfinger Brownies from Becky Bakes!

23 Jun

Posting recipes isn’t really my territory, but this one I just have to share: Butterfinger Brownies from Becky Bakes (a delightful little food blog).

Yes, they're as good as they look! (image via Becky Bakes)

Becky’s post about these brownies includes a cute story about her father and how every gift he receives always includes Butterfingers. My dad doesn’t have a taste for that candy specifically, but like her dad, he almost always receives some kind of candy with every gift I give him, too. Very cute, and definitely relatable for me. Needless to say, this morning when I dropped the toddler-monster off with my parents they also received a plate of these brownies.

Like Becky, I  omitted the espresso powder. I also cut the cocoa powder to three tablespoons instead of four because I don’t love a bitter-chocolate taste.  Instead of four Butterfingers I used only two (not necessarily to cut down on the Burrerfingeryness, but because my husband saw that I’d brought four Butterfingers home and complained that I wasn’t going to leave any for him.) Though I baked them for 41 minutes, a minute over the 35-40 minute recommended time, they were definitely a little undercooked. This is fine with me because in my house we tend to like our baked goods a little underdone. I found these perfect to eat, and easy to cut, after being stored in the fridge! You know what? — you should just make some yourself.

I won’t even try to top this post off with an interior-related image or thought. Sometimes, brownies are enough.


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Three MUST DO Valentine Crafts!

2 Feb

I know that Valentine’s Day is a whole 12 days away, but I have been loving these craft ideas and want to share them with you so that you have enough time to possibly accomplish one before the 14th.

1.) Valentine Crayon Cards!

What a wonderful idea! (image via The Long Thread)

Cute, functional, and fun to make, these are good for young kids and adults.  Check out this tutorial on The Long Thread about how to put together your own cards and then visit Make It Take It for the crayon how-to.  My personal experience with this is that you should avoid the metal pan/vegetable spray route and just use a silicon ice cube tray (trust me…I spent a long evening with my husband and our friend trying to do this with all metal parts, and the results were abysmal).

2.) Candy Necklaces!

Lovely DIY, edible necklaces! (image via One Charming Party)

There is little I can say about these except how gorgeous they are!  I remember when chunky, colored “pearl” necklaces became big in high school and I had a few necklaces that were very similar to these.  They were pink and purple, and surely at least $80 each…. Oh well.  I am dying to make a few of these this weekend, and I think I might run with the concept but see if I can cleanly poke holes in marshmallows.  My son is a little too small for stray gumballs around the house, and I hesitate to give these as gifts to parents with young kids. In any case, I anticipate some frustration with the hole-poking but I am super excited to take a crack at these!  Check out One Charming Party for the tutorial.

3.) Fruit Stickers

There are 7 fruit stickers to choose from! (images via Twig and Thistle)

Ok — here’s the easy one: all you do is get yourself a single sheet of sticky paper and print this template from Twig and Thistle.  Ok ok, you also need a 1” craft punch (which I of course happen to have floating in my bag of drafting/crafting supplies) but you can cut carefully and tediously by hand if you don’t have one.

Anyone have any more must-do crafts?  I haven’t been this excited about making things in a long time!  Hopefully I actually get a chance to: our “Valentines” will either be getting a cute bag full of stuff, or a print out of this blog posting this year!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Color Friday is: Peppermint!

28 Jan

Simple and intricate: red and white swirls. (image via TableTalkAtLarrys)

Red and white stripes almost always make me think of peppermints!  Candy canes, round mints, and bold swirls.   Red and white is a common pairing that can be strikingly modern or unquestioningly feminine.  It can be nostalgic, current, or juvenile, and it’s all about how you incorporate it.

I think that often times the best way to incorporate red and white stripes into your home is in small doses.  Just a hint of the peppermint motif is exciting and fresh…and doesn’t make every day feel like December.

The walls, a pillow, books - the perfect amounts of peppermint! L and Center images via Decor Pad, R image via Lonny.

Here are some red and white striped accessories to spice up your rooms.  Enjoy!

Images clockwise from top: Ashton Sutton Round Striped Vase (image via; Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Peppermint Soy Candle (image via Amazon); West Elm Zig Zag Rug (image via West Elm); Dransfield & Ross Red and White Chevron Pillow (image via Dransfield and Ross); Double Octopus Lamp (image via Hive Modern); Red and White Stool (image via Nautical Living); Feather and Black Red and White Knit Throw (image via Feather and Black); Kate Spade Chattanooga Purse (image via

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Find of the Week: Crayola Candy Canes!

5 Jan

This week’s find of the week is very simple, extremely inexpensive, and 100% adorable.  It’s the best of both worlds for me: art supplies and candy.

I have never seen these before, and I am thrilled to have found them! (image via

I found them at World Market in Chevy Chase for 50% off (applies to all holiday items).  IT MADE MY DAY!  They were originally $5 a box for 50; you get eight different shades, and the candies themselves are just a simple solid color, free of branding or markings.

So cute! So cheap! (image via x-entertainment)

I can see these being a fabulous decoration for a small tree. Consider picking up a box and saving it for next year — 50 mini candy canes can go a long way when it comes to a table-top tree!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Oreo Truffles!

20 Dec

I’m not bragging, but look what I made!

Ok. Maybe I'm bragging.

These are the cookie of the year for me; we’ll be giving them out, along with one other homemade candy (to be determined), to family and the few friends that we’re lucky enough to see before cookie season is over.

What are you making?

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Match Made in Heaven: Jonathan Adler’s “Edible Giftables” + Bungalow 5 Side Tables!

30 Nov

I saw these Jonathan Adler “Edible Giftables” yesterday and immediately fell in love with them:  the utility, the novelty, the bright colors, and of course, the snacks!

Jonathan Adler's Edible Giftables "Carbs Cookie Set," 4.25w x 6h, $38 (image via Jonathan Adler)

At $38 via Jonathan Adler’s website, they’re the perfect mix of reasonably priced and whimsically special.  Plus, after you’re done with the Dancing Dear Cookies (red), Jacques Torres Caramel Chocolate Popcorn (turquoise), or James Authentic Salt Water Taffy (green), you can keep the adorable ceramic canisters and display them year-round!

The Candy Canisters sit on a Jacqui 3-Drawer Side Table in green, $720 from Clayton Gray Home (image via Bungalow5), and the Calories Container sits on a Harlow Tea Table in turquoise, $350 via Clayton Gray Home (image via Bungalow5)

Now for the match-made-in-heaven part: I immediately thought of Bungalow 5′s candy colored side tables when I saw these canisters, and how wonderful they would look together!  Obviously they’re not a perfect color-match, but that adds to the depth of the color scheme in my opinion: when did you ever see cookie cutter dye-lot synchronicity in a Domimo magazine or Anthropologie catalog?  Seems like a fabulous pairing for an awkward kitchen niche, a small entry way, or a bedside treat!  Any way you style it they’d make a great pair, and I’m sure the goodies are worth it!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

It’s Monday. Wake Up and Look at These Paintings by Pamela Johnson.

15 Nov

Starlight Mints, 26'' x 40'', 2008 (image via

There are about half a dozen living artists whose work I go back to from time to time just to stare at.  I’m lucky enough to have two of them hanging on my walls at home, but the others are, well, a little out of my price range.

Hostess Cupcakes II, 52'' x 34'', 2009 (image via

Meet Pamela Michelle Johnson: she’s one of the lucky half dozen that I’ll be sending a few tens of thousands of dollars to if and when I strike it filthy rich.  Her paintings are stunningly realistic, deeply saturated in rich color and texture, often tremendously over-sized, and for lack of another descriptive term, WONDERFUL.

PB&J II, 58''' x 44'', 2009 (image via

I would love to quote a part of her artist’s statement for you, but it’s so well-written and comprehensive that I will forward you to her statement directly.  To summarize very simplistically, she is trying to show the evocative, indulgent, and irresistible sides of junk food while speaking about harmful overindulgence and the troubling culture of excess that we are immersed in.  All of that relevant and thought-provoking social commentary aside, I can’t look away.  I don’t want to look away; I want to look at her giant painting of waffles dredged in syrup as I sit at breakfast, eating waffles dredged in syrup (is that bad?) .

Waffles, 72'' x 42'', 2007 (image via

Pillsbury, 32'' x 46'', 2010 (image via

Pamela Michelle Johnson is represented by the Adler & Co. Gallery in San Francisco. I haven’t had the opportunity to stop in, seeing as how it’s 2,000 miles left of me, but I’ve spoken with them on the phone and they are super sweet and lovely to talk to.  If you buy one don’t tell me though, because I’ll be pretty jealous and it might take me a while to get over it.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.