A Beautiful Weekend

 Image via @josiebarber

Image via @josiebarber

A rare and insightful interview with Joni Mitchell had us playing her songs in the studio all week long — enjoy it here.

Speaking of women in music, Good Ol’ Freda is an incredible documentary available on Netflix that takes a look at the life of The Beatles’ secretary, Freda Kelly. It is wonderful, and so is she!  

And Ivy Mix‘s mentor, Julie Reiner, talks mentorship and honesty with Liquor.com, see her interview here and listen to Ivy discuss femininity and mentorship in our interview with her here.

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful article.

A beautiful woman.

Have a beautiful, restful, leftover-filled weekend!


P.S. The Holiday Season has officially begun! We hope you’ll join us next week as we get into the spirit of things at our Holiday Workshop!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Image via  joy the baker

Image via  joy the baker

“And so, Thanksgiving. Its the most amazing holiday. Just think about it — it’s a miracle that once a year so many millions of Americans sit down to exactly the same meal as one another, exactly the same meal they grew up eating, and exactly the same meal they ate a year earlier. The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about? I don’t think so.”

– Nora Ephron


 image via  design sponge

image via design sponge

For me, Thanksgiving is about time with my dad. It’s the one holiday in the year that we always spend together, just the two of us. When I was living in the UK, I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and though I recall family parties and Thanksgiving parades from my younger years growing up in the US, it wasn’t until I started college that this holiday began to truly mean something to me. 

Since my freshman year, I have flown to Texas every Thanksgiving bar one. It is always a welcome break from the madness of New York and it gives me a bit of time to rest before I travel to Europe for Christmas in Wales. Our Thanksgivings are usually a small affair, just me and my dad and the occasional friend or guest. Since it’s just the two of us, we get to do Thanksgiving dinner however we like. Some years we go big: turkey, mashed potatoes, dirty rice, Southern gravy, corn bread, sweet potatoes, pecan pie. And some years (most often) we go light: turkey, a mixed green salad, my grandfather’s famous potato salad and pecan pie (too good to change no matter the dietary consequences). But ever since that first Thanksgiving back in 2006, my dad and I have always started the morning off with a glass (or two) of spiked eggnog. And this isn’t your everyday, slosh of cheap whiskey. No, this is eggnog spiked with Remy Martin. It is delicious and strong and to me, it signifies the official start of the Holiday season. It also happens to be the perfect tradition for my dad — something classic with an extra special twist. I’m looking forward to it already…

Happy Holidays!


P.S. Find a delicious recipe for eggnog from Small Measure blogger and Quench author, Ashley English, here.

And get into the Holiday spirit with us here!

On Wabi-Sabi & Planting Garlic


We are launching a new series on Girl Gift Gather called Mum’s The Word. Inspired by the age old tradition of mothers passing on advice to their daughters, we’ve invited our own mother’s, Barbara Justiz and Beverley Duckworth, to share their wisdom and wit with you on our blog every month. Today we share a post from Barbara… 

Spring is the air – joking! But I was thinking of Spring as my fingers turned frosty, gingerly placing each garlic clove into 4” deep holes spaced 6” apart in my garden. Green shoots will be poking out of the ground in Spring, one of the first signs of that season, along with my crocuses and then daffodils.  

My first experience planting garlic was several years ago. I found a wonderful site, www.keeneorganics.com, and was excited to see all the various types and colors of garlic. But which ones to buy? Early Italian Purple Softneck? Nookta Rose? Inchelium Red? Persian Star?Armenian Sibs? Ist Time Garlic Growers? 2lb, 5lb, 10 lb assorted? I randomly chose some, reluctantly leaving the others behind, still ending up with about 50 heads of garlic. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that you don’t plant the whole head, but rather individual cloves, which meant my garden would have to forego any other vegetables or fruits in order to accommodate all those cloves. No matter, one can never have enough garlic for cooking. I would end up planting some and using the rest.

Lest you think I am fanatically precise, (refer to the 4”/6” measurements, mentioned above) rest assured, I am not.  Many years ago, when first married, plants were our major decorating theme, the green and variegated leaves covered a multitude of weaknesses in our sparsely decorated apartment. I didn’t talk to them, which was highly recommended. I didn’t feed them special food. I can’t remember repotting them as they grew. I did water them, but sometimes they got a tad dry before soaking to make up for the neglect. I do remember my last words to them, as they were relegated to the trash room.  “I’m sorry, but you are no longer decorative, that was your purpose, and now you must go.” I’m not heartless, however. I knew that somewhere in our apartment building my alter ego would snatch that philodendron with the long stem upon which dangled two or three leaves and try to bring it back to life.  

So, back to garlic. That year, I planted the cloves, and carefully marked each type, a few cloves of each. Come Spring, it was a little like Hanzel and Gretel redux, my labels were bleached and unreadable. But we got garlic! 

For the next few years we kept getting garlic, although definitely less and less.This year I was happy with garlic scapes, albeit with some teeny, tiny cloves that were not worth pealing, or roasting. Time to plant again.

This time, I ordered two types of garlic, described as “hardy.”  Similar to my plants, I didn’t spoil my cloves. I didn’t soak them in a concoction of fish emulsion, Maxicrop and baking soda, followed by a warm bath (not over 115 degrees!) of my choice of vodka (like I would waste my precious vodka on a clove), isopropyl alcohol or Tsunami to sterilize my seed. Instead, I channeled Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese word that describes the art of imperfection. I didn’t know there was a word for it when I was tossing my plants out. Had I, I would have been more comfortable doing it, comfortable enough to not even remember to this day that I did the dirty deed. No, perfection would have those hardy heads of garlic still sitting in the box, waiting until I could a) buy all the necessary ingredients and b) actually get around to timing. Instead, they are in the ground, all 44 of them, and I will let nature take its course. The strong cloves will survive, the rest weren’t meant to be. Most important, it was fun instead of a stressful chore. And I always have the Farmer’s Market to appreciate someone else’s garlic growing success. 

Stay tuned…

Barbara J

Get into the Holiday Spirit with us next month at our Holiday Workshop with Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves. We’ll spend an afternoon crafting, chatting and enjoying Holiday treats! Tickets are selling fast so pick yours up now!

A Beautiful Weekend

 image via  im megan maria

image via im megan maria

NYMag polled 57 women from age 17-72 to draw their breasts and share a sentence on them. The result is here and it is funny, inspiring, relatable, sad and beautiful.

Plus, ain’t no doubt about it, it’s COLD out there! Get your sweater weather inspiration for the week from the ever stylish Princess Di.

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful magazine.

A beautiful woman.

Get into the Holiday Spirit with us next month at our Holiday Workshop with Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves. We’ll spend an afternoon crafting, chatting and enjoying Holiday treats! Tickets are selling fast so pick yours up now!

And have a beautiful weekend!


Important Women, Important Thoughts


There’s nothing quite like starting off your morning with the wise words of Maya Angelou, Margaret Cho and Mindy Kaling. The Cut‘s latest series amasses quotes from famous women on topics ranging from aging to motherhood. We thought you’d enjoy, so we selected a few of our favorites to share. Happy reading!

 Image via  malika favre

Image via malika favre

25 Famous Women on Getting Older

“I am convinced that most people do not grow up … We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” —Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter, October 2009

“Best thing about being in your 90s is you’re spoiled rotten. Everybody spoils you like mad and they treat you with such respect because you’re old. Little do they know, you haven’t changed. You haven’t changed in [the brain]. You’re just 90 every place else … Now that I’m 91, as opposed to being 90, I’m much wiser. I’m much more aware and I’m much sexier.” —Betty White, People, February 2013

“I actually have better sex — which is the bottom line, is it not? At 60. Because you learn how to, you know, work the vehicle better.” Lauren Hutton, on her website

25 Famous Women on Childlessness

“There have been times when I wanted children and other times I’ve been grateful not to have them. I am a mess if I have to say goodbye to my dog for longer than five days. I don’t know how I would deal with kissing my children as I left for work. I know there are women who are able to do that. I don’t know if I could.” —Anjelica HustonCinema.com, November 2011

“I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I’d be this age and not have kids. But my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated … I kept feeling like I’d wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven’t. And we have a pretty great life together. The chance that we’ll regret it doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason to do it. I may wake up tomorrow with that lighting bolt, and I’ll have to scramble to make it happen.”
Jennifer WestfeldtNew York Times Magazine, March 2012

30 Famous Women on Overcoming Their Insecurities

“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned … What does sustain us … what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul … There is no shade in that beauty.” —Lupita Nyong’oBlack Women in Hollywood Luncheon Speech, 2014

“I say to myself, ‘I don’t know how to act — and why does anybody want to look at me on-screen anymore?’ … Lots of actors feel that way. What gives you strength is also your weakness — your raging insecurity.” —Meryl StreepO, the Oprah Magazine, 2003

 “Maybe [it’s] because I have professional confidence that comes from my business, but calling me chubby cannot hurt me in the way it does so many, many girls, millions of women … When I was younger, I already went through that. I know it’s much harder to do the things I’ve done than it is to lose weight and be thin. Also, when you’ve seen Instagram comments like, ‘You’re so ugly, you should kill yourself,’ it’s like, I went to college. How could I be offended by someone who talks about what you look like? I wouldn’t even deem you a person I’d speak to. I don’t know if I’d have felt this way when I was 22. But I feel this way at 34.” —Mindy Kaling, The Guardian, 2014

Winter Holiday Workshop


We come to you today with exciting news! Next month, Girl Gift Gather will host our first ever workshop! We’ve teamed up with Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves (see her GIRL interview here) to create an afternoon of crafting, chatting and Holiday cheer. If reading this sends you into a full blown Holiday panic — deep breaths. This workshop is about enjoying yourself; taking a break from the GIFTS! FAMILY! STRESS! of the Holiday season to make something with your own two hands. This December 6th, we invite you to meet new friends, start new conversations and learn new crafts.

We’ll provide all the supplies you’ll need as well as festive treats and a warming Winter punch. Tickets are available here, spaces are limited so we recommend you purchase soon. See our invitation below for full details.

We hope to see you there!

 Invitation designed by  Local Creative

Invitation designed by  Local Creative