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Salud! Sangrita for Cinco de Mayo

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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo today? I rarely plan ahead for this holiday (cheers to the end of European invasion in the Americas!), but it always gets me craving tacos and spicy Micheladas.

In the past, that’s been my go-to alternative to a margarita—not really my drink of choice unless I’ve got my toes in the sand—however I thought it was time to try something different.

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Sangrita is a traditional tequila companion that is said to have originated in Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco. Leftover juices from a fruit salad, composed of Seville oranges, limes, and pomegranates, with chili powder or hot sauce (I think of those cups we’d buy in Mexico, cut fresh, from sidewalk carts), were poured into a small glass, drank alternately with sips of tequila.

I looked around for recipes online and there’s a wide range. Most recipes call for tomato juice to be mixed with the fresh-squeezed oranges and limes, but the Wiki entry suggests that this may have been a result of mistakenly attributing the red appearance of the drink to tomatoes. Some recipes use grenadine, and it could make sense to add a sweet note to the salt, acid, and spice. Almost all seem to agree that a balance is the key. My guess is that there are no set rules—except, of course, finding a fine agave tequila worth sipping.

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But just in case, start with:

2 parts freshly squeezed orange juice
2 parts freshly squeezed lime juice
Combine with either 1 part real pomegranate-based grenadine or 1 part tomato juice
Add ancho chile powder, or a few dashes of hot sauce to taste.

P.S. If you are looking for a good margarita, here’s a perfect grapefruit margarita recipe, or you could trying keeping it pure and simple—tequila, lime juice, and perhaps a bit of agave nectar. We once ordered a margarita in Campeche, and the bartender just poured a shot of tequila over a large ice cube, and squeezed a good dose of sweet, fresh lime into the glass. It was the best I’ve had.

Ghirardelli Chocolate and a good read for Mother’s Day

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If you ask my mom about the gifts I gave her as a child, one story she might share is how I’d often look for things around the house that I thought were being under-utilized and present them as new. Of course I wasn’t fooling anybody when I’d gather up lipsticks that looked practically new and wrap them up in tissue, but she’d pretend for my sake to be surprised.

I don’t advise re-gifting toiletries once you’re over the age of 6 or so, but there is something to be said for presentation. You could, for example, wrap a jar of bath salts and a bottle of wine in the bow of her bathrobe to suggest she enjoy a quiet soak. Or tuck her favorite blanket and a good book into one of her baskets with something sweet to nibble, suggesting she escape to her favorite reading spot in the afternoon. On the other hand—and I could be wrong—I think a lot of mothers want to spend the majority of Mother’s Day with her family, but appreciate the promise of little time to herself to feel pampered, whether later on that day or further in the future.

I’m partnering with Ghirardelli to spread the word about their new Savor the Dark Book Club subscription boxes this summer, and it would actually work perfectly for this! And they could handle the presentation. Along with Quarterly Co., and Crown Publishing, Ghirardelli is pairing their Intense Dark Chocolates with author-signed copies of new, seasonal book releases.

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While this specific box won’t arrive in time for Mother’s Day, the deadline for ordering their June box is Friday, so you could plan for this Sunday together and then tuck a note in a card with the promise of alone-time to come: a monthly subscription that will send her a summer read and some chocolate for savoring.

Next month the book offering is, appropriately, Miranda Beverly Whittemore’s June, “a tale of an unexpected inheritance from a movie star that pulls a young woman into a world of wealth, celebrity, and haunting secrets,” paired with Intense Dark Cabernet Matinee, 72% Cacao Twilight Delight, and Hazelnut Heaven—and some bonus items.

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Peonies never hurt, either.

Did anybody else used to regift items from around the house to your parents and hope they wouldn’t notice? I’m pretty sure I wrapped up some of her jewelry once—which is at least better than used lipstick. 

Some inspiration for Mother’s Day breakfast dishes coming up soon…

Thank you to Ghirardelli for supporting this content and providing the product for this post. You can order June and July’s Savor the Dark Book Club boxes at Quarterly Co., and discover ways to pair the Intense Dark flavors with food and beverages at Ghirardelli. #IntenseDark 

How to Decorate On A Budget

1 How to Decorate on A budget

by Anna Smith of Annabode + Co.

Whether you’re moving into a new into a new space or rethinking your current one, deciding on a realistic budget can be a challenge—it’s by far the hardest question my clients have to answer. I love finding creative ways to save money in clients’ homes (and in mine as well)—and it’s actually easier than you might think! My general rule is to spend a little more on the most hard-wearing, used items in your home — your mattress and appliances, for example. Then, if you’re on a budget, try to save everywhere else.

How exactly do you save money when designing your home? There are a million different small ways (literally—Pinterest is full of them), but here are my personal tips for decorating on a tight budget…

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