Cocktail Hour: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

I wanted to make a sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail to help celebrate Rosh Hashana using festive holiday flavors. I love, love this drink and the added fun of the pomegranate ice cubes. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy (and still delicious) to make as a mocktail for those who are abstaining from alcohol. Happy New Year, all!

Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail (adapted from Honestly Yum)

Ingredients
– 1 1/2 oz vodka
– 1 – 1/2 oz pomegranate sparkling soda (or plain pomegranate juice)
– 1/2 oz lime juice
– 1/2 oz vanilla cardamom syrup
– dash of bitters
– pomegranate ice cubes* and sprig of fresh mint for garnish

Vanilla Cardamom Syrup
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 6 cardamom pods, cracked open and ground with mortar + pestle

Directions
1. To make vanilla cardamom syrup, add water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and ground cardamom and let simmer two minutes before removing from heat. Cool to room temperature and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

2. Fill a glass with pomegranate ice cubes and add vodka, pomegranate sparkling soda, lime juice, vanilla cardamom syrup and dash of bitters. Stir and then garnish with fresh mint.

3. To make this a mocktail, leave out vodka and bitters and add either more pomegranate sparkling soda or sparkling water.

*fill ice cube trays with pomegranate seeds and then with water. freeze overnight.

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

Japanese Children’s Day with CultureBaby

When I think of May, I immediately think of Cinco de Mayo. Little did we know, there’s another fantastic international holiday on the very same day: Japanese Children’s Day. And we have locally-run CultureBaby to thank for telling us about it! CultureBaby is a fantastic online children’s boutique specializing in international clothes, toys and accessories for babies and children. We first met founder Natalia Rankine-Galloway at Union Market’s Thread, where we oohed and aahed over their gorgeous children’s products, which celebrate global diversity while maintaining a modern design aesthetic. I really, really wanted a gold kiddo-sized Moroccan Pouf for my daughter, but I was totally taken in by this great tunic (I bought a dark blue and gold one) and picked it up for her 4th birthday present (she was totally taken by it too, btw).

I love that CultureBaby seeks out artisan-designed products from around the world that are also safe, non-toxic, and are made sustainably, ethically and under fair-trade conditions. And if that’s not enough, we obviously love and identify with a company  co-partnered by two smart ladies. I’ve continued to surf CultureBaby’s beautiful online shop, so I was really excited when Natalia asked if we’d be interested in sharing with you some of their wonderful products in celebration of Japanese Children’s Day. You all well know that we need no excuse to party, but these wonderful CultureBaby items certainly provide one. And since I LOVE fake shopping (you know, where I get to pretend shop what I’d buy for myself, but not actually buy it. what? are you saying that’s not a thing!?!), I’ve done you a solid and pulled together what I think would make a fabulous celebration — Happy Children’s Day!

UPDATED: Add to your celebration with this free adorable Kokeshi Doll party printable banner from CultureBaby! Just Click Right Here!

A Feteful Life: Culture Baby

1.  Koolmomo’s Kimono dresses look so comfy and party perfect! / 2. Make sure your toddlers party responsibly with this eco-friendly Confetti Push Pop! / 3. This Japanese designed chalk and wood cityscape is insanely adorable. In addition to this standard set, you can also chose from London or Paris. Love, love, love. / 4. This Koinobori is used principally to celebrate Children’s Day! Use it for the celebration and then hang it in your kiddo’s room. / 5. Monkey track flip flops!?! I wish these came in adult sizes. Really. / 6. French designer Madame Mo’s Yoko dolls are simply fabulous and Cam is quite happy Natalia shared one with us! / 7. Stylish jammies? We are in. / 8. Uncle Goose’s Kokeshi Doll Blocks are super cute and perfectly sized for the littles.

Disclosure: Natalia Rankine-Galloway gifted a Madame Mo Yoko doll and a Koi Fish Wall Hanging to AFL. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own. 

St. Patrick’s Day: Plaid Chic Party

It’s that time of year again. When everyone searches for that tiny bit o’ Irish in them for a legitimate excuse to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Well, you’ve come to the right place. You know we need NO such excuse. We’re up to celebrate anything and everything and this year we’ve put together Plaid Chic party ideas that will rival the standard green beer shindig (although we love that, too). It’s gold. It’s plaid (even if it not authentic Irish tartan). It’s St. Patty’s, classy.

A Feteful Life: St. Patrick's Day: Plaid Chic Party

1. I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this oversized fringed garland and I think this is just the right occasion. These gold and ivory fringed babies were made following Oh Happy Day’s tutorial.

2. Find your family tartan and tie it on some champagne glasses for this super easy decor that will carry your theme throughout the party.

3. Class up your Irish whisky punch by serving it in a nice decanter, wrapped with tartan ribbon and spelled out in glittery letters. Another great plaid party idea from mint love social club.

4. We’ve made tinseled drink stirrers for a few parties recently and are completely hooked. Not only are they a cinch to make, people turn them into all kinds of party decor and personal accessories, including hair pins and pocket square bling. Pop one of those in a tartan-tied glass of champs and you are done.

5. Gold stamped cocktail napkins have also been making the rounds at several of our recent shindigs, but if you don’t want to fool around making them yourself, gold foil stamped are a great option. Many, including these, are made with an eye for weddings, but you can have them say whatever you wish.

6. These plaid celebration crackers are a little Christmasey, but I think they’d still be super fun to pop for St. Patty’s Day.

7. Loving the plaid fashions of Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass. If anyone can pull off chic plaid, it’s these two.

8. Faux gold mercury glass votives will warm even the coldest of Irish hearts and would be a great basic party accessory to have.