Last Minute Gift Guide: Make

Holiday wreaths are an easy way to bring a lot cheer on the cheap to your home, and they make great gifts too!

I prefer them a little weird and wild (like most things in life), but you can use this technique for almost any material you choose.

And the only supplies you’ll need are a wire wreath form, paddle wire, and some snips. Easy peasy.
First up- grab yo’ greens! Do it in a park, and try not to look…awkward.

I chose noble fir, cedar, and seeded eucalyptus from the LA Flower Mart for around $3.50/bunch and used about 1/3 bunch per 12″ wreath. For the behemoth in that first photo, you’ll need around 2 bunches of everything.

You can also forage your greens in the wild or at your local tree lot/Home Depot, where they’ll usually give you the branches they cut off the bottoms of trees for free.
Now for some fun (and long lasting) accents- thistle, naked pepperberry, and red safari.
Make small and pleasing bunches of greens + accents.
Place your first bunch on your wreath form and use the paddle wire to secure it. No need to be pretty or too precious- just make sure it’s secure and DON’T cut your wire.
Lay down your next bunch directly below the first one, so that the top of your second bunch covers up your messy wires. Secure it in place and DON’T cut your paddle wire.
Rinse and repeat.
Voila! Not too shabby for $10 and 20 minutes, right?!

And if a wreath isn’t up your alley, here are 4 more gifts to make:

Vanilla Extract
Preserved Lemons
Homemade Bitters
Chewy Caramels

And yes, they’re all edible, because if you’ve been invited to a holiday party, your host/ess probably already has enough cheese logs, tea towels and kitchen tchotkes!

Greens, Pineapple and Mint Smoothie

breakfast smoothie

“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” –Groucho Marx

Hello everyone, my name is Tabitha and I live in Los Angeles.
Hello Tabitha…

In other words, jackpot!

I’m pretty sure this recipe is the golden ticket for hesitant Angelenos like myself to officially join the club.
Not to mention I’ve been here for ten years already.
Now how did that happen?

While I can’t easily explain where ten years went (the hallmark of getting old?!)
I can pinpoint the birth of my love of green juice. And I can blame a New Yorker!

See, whenever my friend would come to town and we’d style commercials together,
she’d insist on lots of healthy juices and luxury health snacks.
Yes, I use the word luxury to describe an eight dollar juice.
Another word would be insanely ridiculous.
Oops, that’s two words.
Choose your own adventure!

Commercial styling is no joke, so the fact that you can turn in receipts for multiple juice fixes a day is definitely a redeeming factor. Oh, and the paycheck. Honesty folks, it’s what’s for breakfast.
And green juice.

But even with my love of green juice, I’d stayed away from smoothies for the longest time.
They just seemed like fruit & ice masquerading as a milkshake, and for $8, I didn’t want any impostors. (or any ice!)

Then I discovered the secret to a great smoothie: frozen bananas.

I should have known, since frozen bananas in the food processor make the best single ingredient sorbet ever! Silly Me! Anyhow, they keep everything nice and cold sans ice, and make your smoothie incredibly creamy.
I quickly moved on to frozen pineapple, and BAM! New favorite breakfast smoothie.

Now I just peel, chop and freeze 6 or 7 ripe bananas and a pineapple every week,
and then these smoothies take no time at all to throw together.
Maybe 2 minutes.

So whether you want to save a buck, or you’ve just been hesitant to say yes please to bunch of kale in your morning milkshake, you should give this recipe a try!

The banana and pineapple are a sweet combo, and the mint is so refreshing that before you know it (or taste it) you’ll have downed an entire cup (or two!) of greens.

It’s quicker, cheaper, and healthier than a cup of coffee,
and seems like dessert for breakfast.

Greens, Pineapple and Mint Smoothie
Serves: 2
This is my favorite breakfast smoothie! The banana and pineapple are a sweet combo, and the kick of mint is so refreshing that before you know it (or taste it) you’ll have downed an entire cup (or two!) of greens.
  • 1 cup frozen banana (1 banana)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups kale or other leafy green
  • 1- 1.5 cup almond milk
  • mint leaves to taste (4-5)
  1. Add banana, pineapple, mint and almond milk to blender and blend on high until creamy. Add more almond milk if necessary.
  2. Add greens to blender and use a spoon to shove them down into the smoothie.
  3. Then blend until they are fully incorporated.
You don't need a fancy blender to make this delicious smoothie!