We are SO close to Christmas! But of course I still have shopping to do. Thankfully my neighborhood, the Central West End, is just filled with stores to finish checking off my list. Plus everything is so festive right now. The last day of the Window Walk is tomorrow so it would be a perfect day to head down and pick up those last minute gifts while enjoying free (yes free!) smores, Bloody Mary's and Hot Toddy's. Plus you can see how all the shops decorated their windows and pick your favorite! I think mine is Left Bank Books. I posted a pic in my Daily Delights post the other week. So without further ado, here's the second installment of #ShopSTL! You can find my recommendations for Cherokee Street here.
I could spend all day in Left Bank Books. The staff is wonderful and they have everything from new books to used. Right now I am asking for way to many cook books for Christmas and they have an incredible collection. Including some signed copies since they've recently hosted a few authors (including Alton Brown!). Plus they have so many adorable cards to finish off the gift. Say hi to the store cat for me! Once you've had your fill of books, head down McPherson to our next stop, it's a two for one.
At the end of McPherson before you reach all the homes is a great shop - Living Collective and The Vino Gallery are both housed in the same building. Living Collective has a some great, funky clothes, fun pins and accessories. Next door is a fantastic wine shop. You can purchase wine to drink in the store or grab a bottle to take to your next holiday party and you'll be everyone's favorite guest!
My boyfriend and I aren't doing presents this year (we're going to take a fun trip instead) but if we were I would buy him EVERYTHING from East and West. They moved from Kirkwood to the Central West End and have the best selection of shirts, pants and socks. It's a men's store but I 100 percent want that St. Louis bag for my grocery shopping.
Here are just a few other favorites in the neighborhood. Happy shopping!!
We made it to Friday ya'll! Man, was this week extra long for anyone else? Not sure what it was, maybe it was the fact that winter finally smacked us all in the face here in St. Louis. You almost forget what 20 degrees feels like. Busy week at the station today, but I am excited about a story I am putting together that airs Christmas week about an incredible organization that helps families empower themselves.
When I get to do stories that are close to my heart I don't mind putting in the extra hours at work, but that sometimes means sacrificing time for dinner! One of the challenges of being on the go with this job is being forced to eat at fast food restaurants. Something I reallllly try to avoid. Thank goodness St. Louis is really rocking the fast casual restaurants. This week I finally got the chance to check out Guerilla Street Food on South Grand. The simplicity of the menu and the dishes were perfect but the flavors go well beyond. I got the Wandering Pig at the excellent recommendation from the guy behind the counter. Perfectly cooked pork over rice with a sweet and salty sauce. Amazing. Will definitely be back.
Looking forward to a relaxing do nothing weekend with a little bit of Christmas celebrations! Cheers to the weekend!
I think one of the best ways to grow a city and a community is by supporting the local businesses. Keeping our spending money, whether it's eating out or shopping for Christmas presents, in our St. Louis community is vital to building up our economy. Plus we have so many incredible shops there's almost no need to torture yourself and go to the mall during the crazy holiday season. I've already done a bunch of my Christmas shopping from a few craft fesitvals earlier this fall and on Small Business Saturday (but I like to treat every day like Small Business Saturday). So I wanted to share my favorite spots in the city for buying great local gifts. Since there are so many great places I'm breaking them up by neighborhood so you can make a whole day of it! First up, Cherokee Street.
I am a total sucker for beautifully made dishes, bowls, basically anything I can store all my jewelry and knick-knacks in. Boheme is one of those stores that I just want to buy everything. Really I just want the owner to come curate my apartment and style it. I am all about the gold, so I loved these concrete and gold containers. They would look so cute with a succulent! The clover shaped dishes would be great to wrangle earrings.
If you've shopped on Cherokee Street before, you know they are THE place to go antique shopping. Buying antiques as gifts is a perfect way to find that unique gift and to help prevents unnecessary waste on our planet. I love the idea of giving beautiful vintage glassware to a cocktail loving friend from Retro 101/Cherry Bomb or finding a unique lamp for my mom at the Heirloom Room. And hello, Santa, can you please bring me that gorgeous rug?
There are so many great makers right on Cherokee and so many shops carrying locally made goods. And when you need a pick me up from all that shopping, grab a beer from Earthbound Brewery or a plate of cheese curds from Byrd and Barrel.
More shops to find that perfect gift:
Happy Shopping! Tell me, where's your favorite spot on Cherokee Street?
We're kicking off this Monday with some thoughts and some bourbon. Because, hello, Monday.
They say practice makes perfect and I'd say they are right. I discovered a love for cooking and photography a couple years back but have only recently realized that if I want to get better at either, I need to practice. Gosh darn it, twist my arm, I need to bake more! But it's not as easy as it sounds, with a full time job and a regularly full calendar, it can be a challenge to find the time to cook, but also find the time to photograph it well. Thankfully it's something I enjoy but even as I look through the few photos I snapped while making these cupcakes on my day off the other day, I realized I was distracted by my dog and Christmas decorations and I wasn't really happy with the way many of them turned out. But I will say, they tasted delicious and in the end that's what matters, at least to my boyfriend who immediately called dibs on the leftover frosting.
I recently mentioned my discovery of local baker Christina of Dessert For Two, well I was so excited when I stumbled upon her cookbook in the used section of Left Bank Books in the Central West End. If you're not aware, there's a great selection of used books downstairs of the bookstore. It looked barely used! Which is great because my cook books generally get a little messy...anyway, this was the perfect recipe because it made five cupcakes. The recipe said four, but I got five out it. It was perfect because I set aside a little of the icing before adding the bourbon for one cupcake for my mom who doesn't drink.
Cookbooks and Instagram are where I try to learn more about how to better my food photography. I'm thankful I have a big window in my kitchen for natural light, but I definitely need a stool to get some better shots from above, and work on angles. I understand the basics of photography from journalism school, but framing up an interview subject is a little different than a cupcake. So here's to more practice! And more cupcakes. Cheers!
bourbon buttercream pumpkin cupcakes
makes five cupcakes
I am in full on holiday mode over here. The day after Thanksgiving means game on for Christmas. So the holiday hits have been blaring (currently listening to Acoustic Christmas on Spotify) and evergreen candles are burning. Also December 1st means advent calendar time! It wasn't ever something we did as kids but my boyfriend loves them and he got us a BEER advent calendar from Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton. Amazing. I also have started on the Christmas shopping. I am working on some neighborhood shopping guides for the blog. Hoping to post one tomorrow...or Sunday. We'll see how busy the weekend gets. This was a short work week for me and as we approach full on cookie season I was attempting to work out and eat a bit healthier. I type that as I have cupcakes baking in the oven...oh well. All about the balance. Here's to a balanced weekend, or just a weekend of cupcakes. You do you.
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write a bit more about my passions.