10 Holiday Gift-Wrapping Essentials

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Kimberly FitzSimons
Where you’re based: Pelham, New York
How long you’ve been with Minted: Five years
Favorite thing about the holidays: nonstop holiday music—it always puts me in a good mood. 
On my holiday wish list this year:
 Five different brands/shades of red lipstick. I’m determined to nail the perfect red lip!
Favorite holiday tradition: It just started, but it will be making holiday cookies with my daughters.

My family is very serious about wrapping holiday presents. The title of Best Gift Wrapper of the Season is very coveted and is partially based on how tightly the gifter can secure the ribbon atop a wrapped package! My father wins every year, but I’m determined to take the title this year with these holiday gift-wrapping favorites.  —Kimberly

Click through for all of Kimberly’s holiday gift-wrapping essentials…

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My Thanksgiving Table: Lynn Knipe

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Lynn Knipe of Griffinbell Paper Co.
Where you’re based: Encinitas, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: 4 years
My favorite thing about the holidays is… the festive get-togethers with friends and family.
This year, I’m thankful for… my family—my husband, our two kids, four cats, and one dog.
Stuffing—love it or loathe it? Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving dish—I even have it for breakfast the following morning!
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless… I make one healthy, low-fat side dish that no one eats!

Here’s a little glimpse into my Southern California home and kitchen (a.k.a. Thanksgiving central!) and what I’ve got cooked up for the holiday this year.  —Lynn

Click through for all the details…

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What I’m Thankful For: Jackie Mangiolino

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Jackie Mangiolino of Sincerely, Jackie
Where you’re based: Bellmore, New York
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since November 2009 (5 years!)
My favorite thing about the holidays is… the smells! Cookies baking, fresh pine trees, Christmas ham, and cinnamon in the fireplace. The smells bring me back to childhood.
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless… there’s a mini-crisis. One year my mother-in-law had a knife accident and almost lost a toe; another year my dad’s boat almost sank; and another year, there *shudder* wasn’t enough turkey. There’s always something totally unexpected that happens and makes for great future stories.
Stuffing—love it or loathe it? I love it. What’s not to love?!

Thanksgiving, to me, has always been a holiday representing gratitude and coming together. Growing up, my grandparents would host a feast for the entire family, which was no small feat with all four of their children and 12 of their grandchildren. My grandfather started the meal by saying a few words of thanks, and he would always get choked up when he thanked our troops and service men and women. It was a simple but powerful sentiment that reminded us all of just how free and fortunate we really were.

My grandparents no longer host Thanksgiving dinner, but my husband and I deeply cherish the tradition and meaning behind the holiday. For years my husband and I would dream of having a home where we could host Thanksgiving and bring our families together. Well, that year has come and this week my husband and I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 30 people in our new home! Our hearts are filled with immense gratitude, and we cannot wait to begin our own tradition of giving thanks.  —Jackie

Click through for more from Jackie…

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My Thanksgiving Table: Renee Pulve (+ DIY Leaf Place Cards)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Renee Pulve of Smudge Design
Where you’re based: Westlake Village, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: 4.5 years
My favorite thing about the holidays is… Christmas music.
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless… there are leftovers!
Stuffing—love it or loathe it? Love it—and it better be Stove Top!

This Thanksgiving, I’ll be hosting a small and intimate gathering at home. Here’s a sneak peek into what I’ve got planned. —Renee

Click through for all the details, plus Renee’s DIY maple-leaf place cards tutorial…

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Recipe: Classic Cranberry Sauce (With Printable Gift Label!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Susan Brown
Where you’re based: Menomonie, WI
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011
My favorite thing about the holidays is… having our son and his fiancé home for a few days.
This year, I’m thankful for… good friends, good books, and gold foil!
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless… my family fights over the dark meat.
Stuffing—love it or loathe it? Love it (especially mine!).

There is little that signals the approaching holidays better than the bright red cranberry bogs along Wisconsin’s highways. Since Wisconsin is the biggest producer of this versatile berry, it seemed only natural to share this simple Thanksgiving recipe for fresh cranberry sauce with you. And if you’ve never made this tasty, tart sauce before, I hope it will become a tradition in your family, too.I like to make an extra-large batch of cranberry sauce and spoon it into small canning jars to give as a parting gift. That way, when I’m passing out Thanksgiving leftovers for guests to take home, I include a jar so everyone can enjoy turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce the next day.  —Susan

Keep reading for Susan’s easy-to-make cranberry sauce recipe…

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DIY Floral Bouquet

by Michelle Barrera

When planning a budget friendly wedding, designing your own bridal bouquet always sounds enticing and inexpensive but also intimidating! Hopefully I can share with you helpful tips that will allow you to create a beautiful bouquet for less than $30 ($29.23 to be exact!) from grocery store flowers.

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DIY Marbled Easter Eggs

By Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm

Easter is just around the corner and I’m ready for pretty spring pastels. This year I was so inspired by Minted’s Modern Marble Party Decor, that I wanted to carry the trend over to egg decorating. There are so many options when it comes to marbling, but most methods involve hard-to-find, obscure products or messy, oil-based paints. I wanted to make my eggs with simple, inexpensive ingredients that are also kid-friendly. Read on for the how-to…

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