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How-To: French Twist Ponytail

I’m on a constant mission to find ways to manage my (unruly) mane, so when I stumble on hair tutorials that are not only drop dead gorgeous but also totally doable, I make sure to pay attention. Whipped up by the master of all things beauty, BE.NYLA, and captured by Betsi Ewing Studio, you’ll want to tuck away this french twist ponytail so you can turn around your next bad hair day.

step-1

Tease the crown lightly, grab sections around the crown and tease again lightly, and gently brush everything back-going over the pouf.

step-2
Gather all the hair together into a ponytail. Twist hair and pin until secure.

step-3
With an elastic band tie the ponytail. This ensures that it does not go loose. Spray a light hairspray on ends and lightly tease the ponytail with your fingers.

Photography: Betsi Ewing Studio | Hair + Make Up: BE.NYLA | Model: Angela Lanter

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10 Tips for Perfect Holiday Cookies

When we first moved into our home and experienced our first holiday in the burbs, I was completely caught off guard by all my crafty and creative neighbors. Adorable little s’mores kitsjars of homemade goodness, and darling DIY ornaments showed up at our door the minute the calendar flipped to December. But this year, I’m stepping up to the plate and upping my cookie game with these tips from Sinclair And MooreSpruce and Matthew Land. My little ‘hood is in for a serious treat.

• Make your dough the day before if you can. Both gingerbread and sugar cookie dough should chill for at least 4 hours, but it is best if the dough can rest overnight.

• If you are making the classic gingerbread dough, purchase 2 bottles of molasses.

• Divide your dough into small disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Smaller disks will make rolling out the cookies more manageable.

• Only remove one cookie dough disk at a time from the fridge so that the rest can stay chilled.

• If you don’t have a granite or marble countertop, try rolling out the cookies on a table covered in a vinyl cloth.

• As you roll, carefully lift your dough and sprinkle flour underneath. You don’t want too much flour because it will make your cookies dry, just enough so it won’t stick to the surface.

• Roll out your dough so that it’s 1/4 of an inch thick. If the dough is much thicker, the cookies will lose their shape in the oven when they bake.

• Small cookies are easy to transfer from the counter to the cookie sheet, but larger ones can be a challenge. Using a large spatula covered in flour is the best technique that we have found. Also, work quickly before your dough warms up. The colder the dough, the easier it is for the cookies to to be transferred to the baking sheet.

• Keep an eye on your cookies while they’re baking. The longer they’re in the oven, the firmer and crispier they’ll be. Larger cookies, like our snowflakes, need to be fairly firm or they’ll crack when you try to decorate them.

• Let your cookies cool for about 10 minutes before attempting to transfer them from the baking sheet to the wire cooling racks.

Ready to get baking? Try Sinclair & Moore’s recipes for Classic Gingerbread Cookies and Icing.

Photography: Matthew Land | Recipe & Styling: Sinclair And Moore | Recipe Layout & Design: Spruce

Home for the Holidays with Rachel Parcell

I’ve managed to buy a tree early this year (which is a feat in and of itself). But as I type this – it’s staring at me all bare and sad in the corner. So decorating is definitely on the agenda tonight and I’m feeling oh so inspired by Rachel Parcell’s incredibly chic and classic rendition of holiday decor. Red and white is getting a glamorous makeover with the help of Gate House No. 1 and Emily Egan. See even more here.

From Rachel Parcell…There’s no place like home for the holidays, especially a home that’s filled with holiday cheer. This year I wanted to keep my Christmas decor cozy and inviting. I went with a classic theme including a snow flocked tree, vibrant red velvet and tartan print ribbons, holly berries and even charming woodland creatures to add a playful feel.

Photography: Emily Egan | Concept/Styling: Rachel Parcell | Decor/Styling: Gate House No. 1