Monthly Must-Haves

The Chic List: Peace, Love, Chic

Gifts by Kristy Parsons/Cascata Gifting Studio, image courtesy of Kismet Visuals

This Holiday season (we know, we know, we can’t believe it either), we’re all about Peace, Love, Chic. What’s got us feeling so zen? We have two amazing partnerships this month. Kristy Parsons, the founder of Cascata Gifting Studio, is sharing her chicest gift wrapping secrets on our Instagram Live. And, speaking of love, the one and only Carla Hall, Food Network TV star and chef, is giving us a dish perfect for the season along with four very special Holiday-themed Instagram Lives. All that, plus our usual roundup of seasonally appropriate inspiration for you.

The Look

This holiday season, yes, we’re looking for Peace, Love, and Chic, but we’re also looking for easy. That’s why we love these Ponte 5 Pocket Slim Pants– they look like denim but feel like leggings. The pale ivory of this pretty Foulard Dot Print Shirt, gently contrasted with the bright white of our casually elegant Quilted Jacket has a welcome lightness. And the brightly patterned Leopard Print Oversized Square Scarf pulls the whole look together. Speaking of scarves pulling things together: be sure to tune into Kristy’s Instagram Live on 11/17. She’s going to share how to use a scarf as a unique gift wrap. We can’t wait to see you there!

The Quote

“It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.”​

Mother Theresa

The Dish

The perfect pre-holiday appetizer, game day munchie, or random Tuesday afternoon snack, this easy-to-throw-together recipe from Carla Hall works with walnuts too!


8 to 12 Servings

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 25 mins


4 and 1/2 cups unsalted, not roasted almonds (skins removed)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven 350ºF.

Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Roast until nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 6-8 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, add the sugar, water, vanilla extract, salt and cooled nuts, stirring to combine. Place over medium heat and allow to cook until the sugar crystallizes on the outside of the nuts and the mixture becomes dry, about 20-25 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and allow some of the sugar to dissolve. Stir continuously, coating the nuts in melted sugar at the bottom of the pan while still keeping the drier sugar crystals on the outside of the nuts – moving the pan on and off the heat will help to keep the caramel from burning but still allow the crystallization! Allow to cook for another 5-8 minutes, then add the cayenne and cinnamon and stir to combine. Remove the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spread into an even layer and allow to completely cool. Break nuts up into clumps and serve.

Tune in to see Carla take over our Instagram Live. Follow us on Instagram @lovechicos for times.

The Books

Cooking with Love By Carla Hall

This holiday season, who couldn’t use a little comfort food? In this book, which we’d love to get and can’t wait to give, Hall serves up more than 100 recipes with twists on classic comfort food. We especially appreciated her touch of the personal; she mixes her own funny and poignant stories in with the delicious recipes. This is one of those cookbooks that is bound to get splattered and dog-eared from, dare we say, a lot of love.

A Quilter’s Holiday By Jennifer Chiaverini

After you’ve stuffed yourself happy and silly with the recipes from Carla’s book, you’ll want to curl up with the newest in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini’s cozy series. In this one, the Elm Creek Quilters are home for the holidays in this heartwarming Christmas story.

For the Elm Creek Quilters, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the quilting season, a time to gather at Elm Creek Manor and spend the day stitching holiday gifts for loved ones. This year, in keeping with the season’s spirit of gratitude, Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper is eager to revive a cherished family tradition. A recent remodeling of the manor’s kitchen unearthed a cornucopia that once served as the centerpiece of the Bergstrom family’s holiday table. Into it, each Bergstrom would place an object that symbolized something he or she was especially thankful for that year. On this quilter’s holiday, Sylvia has invited her friends to continue the tradition by sewing quilt blocks that represent their thankfulness and gratitude.

As each quilter explains the significance of her carefully chosen block, stories of love and longing for family and friends emerge—feelings that are also expressed in the gifts they work on throughout the day. A Quilter’s Holiday is a story of holiday spirit, in its truest, most generous sense.

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