HoliDIY Traditions

December 12, 2016

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The word “tradition” is defined as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way”. But what happens when you don’t have generations that passed down a tradition? That’s easy- you make them yourself! And that’s exactly what I started doing a few years back. Who needs humbugs when you have house to decorate, holiday cheer to spread and cookies to bake! Please note, festive attire is a prerequisite for all those activities. Sporting my favorite holiday blouse that screams, “deck the halls.”

This year, Express challenged me to reimagine this season’s traditions yet again—and I decided to go back to basics by gifting my loved ones my favorite homemade cookies. Not your ordinary cookie, this exact recipe I gave to my boyfriend on our first date… and the rest is history!

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You can usually catch me decorating the house and baking to Mariah Carey’s perfectly pop-infused tunes on repeat. Whether I’m setting the table (see above) or whipping up the best Chocolate chip toffee cookies (recipe below), it is truly is the most wonderful time of the year. My tradition of hosting the holidays was always a dream of mine, and nothing makes me happier than to share my traditions and recipes hoping to inspire others to get in the mix!

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Let’s get real now. This recipe for Chocolate Chip Toffee cookies is my all-time favorite! It’s from my friend Logan’s cookbook, Kitchen Decoded, which also makes for an amazing holiday gift! I also gave these cookies to my boyfriend on our very first date, which was the day after Christmas. I guess why they hold an extra special place in my heart. They are as equally as delish as they are easy to whip up!

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P.S.- Is there anything that says holiday goals quite like baking cookies in your favorite comfy jeans and sweater? In my opinion having go-to cozy sweater is the equivalent to having a go-to LBD.  We all need one. It’s the perfect wintery look that you keep casual at home or even add a few sparkly pins (really dedicated to this trio of brooches above). Oh, and yes, ballet inspired footwear works all year-round.

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After the cookies come out of the oven I like to add a sprinkle of sea salt on top of these babies. Trust me on this.

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I have been known to pack up packages (and take pics of them) bringing over to friends throughout the holiday season. Who doesn’t love homemade cookies and adorable packages? P.S.- whoever invented finger holes for sweaters is a genius. Staying warm never looked so good.

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Truth be told, next to baking, I think floral arranging is right up there in the “Favorite Tradition” files for the holidays. Decorating every inch and feeling festive also means dressing the part. Having go-to outfits for all your hosting and party-hopping needs is a must. A neutral nude heel and just the right amount of holiday shimmer in a metallic party skirt, will always do the trick.

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And yes, decorating pets is a thing too.

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From baking, to decorating, to giving back to the ones you love, it’s truly is a magical time of year. Whatever your holiday traditions are, or are looking to start- I hope you surround yourself with sweetness, love, intension, and Mariah Carey’s holiday album. Happy Holidays! xo Erica

This festive post was in partnership with Express. P.S.- Shop the looks below!

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