Monday, December 24, 2012

Grace Recipe: Brussels Sprout Gratin

Merry Christmas Eve!  Today is like a holiday in itself, but it can also be a little hectic.  You might have last-minute gifts to buy, out-of-town guests to pick up, gatherings to attend, food to prepare... the list goes on.  If you're feeling a little overwhelmed, rest assured that we're here with another helpful tip to make your holiday run a little more smoothly!  Today, it's Grace Guy JP to the rescue with a fantastic little dish to bring to the Christmas table: Brussels Sprout Gratin.  It's simple to make and totally delicious - trust us, this dish is a keeper.  Note that while JP used the Stonewall Kitchen horseradish mustard in this recipe, any of the Stonewall Kitchen mustards would work perfectly.  Pick one up at Grace today - we're open 9 to 5!  Enjoy the recipe, and leave us a comment if you try it out.  We'd love to hear what you think!

Brussels Sprout Gratin


     4 cups Brussels sprouts (cut into eighths)
     1 large clove garlic, minced
     1/4 cup and 2 tbsp. Stonewall Kitchen horseradish mustard
     1 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
     1/4 cup and 1 tbsp. olive oil
     Salt and pepper to taste

Note: JP used individual-sized ramekins, but a glass or ceramic casserole or pie dish would also work.


1.  Cut Brussels sprouts into eighths, depending on size.

2.  In a large saucepan or dutch oven, blanche sprouts in salted boiling water for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until cores are translucent.  Drain well.

3.  Simmer minced garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil until golden.

4.  Add drained sprouts and simmer until tender, stirring enough to prevent sticking to the pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

5.  While sautéing, grease oven-proof dish with olive oil and coat with Panko breadcrumbs along the sides and bottom of the dish.

6.  Check sprouts for tenderness and salt and pepper.

7.  Remove from heat and add mustard.  Combine thoroughly.

8.  In a small bowl, mix 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp. olive oil.

9.  Fill dish with Brussels sprouts mixture and top with breadcrumbs mixture, pressing firmly and evenly along the surface.

10.  Place under the oven broiler until golden brown.

11.Serve warm and enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Festive Fashion: All the Extras

This is the third and final post in a series on holiday outfit ideas.

If you've read our last two blog posts, you might be feeling inspired and excited about dressing up a little bit for the holidays.  We're very happy to help!  But wait - you've got the outfit, but what about everything else?  You know, all those extras you simply can't leave the house without - a bag, things to keep in that bag, and everything you need to bundle up (it is winter, after all).  Well, we've got some ideas for those too.  Enjoy our must-have extras for holiday parties!

#1: Texting Gloves

Texting gloves, $24.
Here at Grace, some of us are very familiar with making emergency phone calls while trying to find a party.  (Note to everyone: sometimes, the Internet lies to you when you ask it for directions.)  Now that it's winter, if you should find yourself in a similar situation you won't want to freeze while calling or texting for help!  Gone are the days when you had to take off your gloves to use your phone's touch screen.  Texting gloves, with their touch screen-sensitive fingertips, will save the day so you can arrive on time, in style, and toasty warm!

#2: Dressy Scarves

Infinity scarves: prices vary.
Stay warm without sacrificing style!  If your look is fancy, you can dress up your outerwear with a special scarf.  Try one with velvet, sequins or sparkly thread detail to add a little flourish to your look.  You'll be dressed to impress before you even take your coat off!

#3: Sparkly Headwraps

Headwraps: prices vary, $15 to $25.
If you just worked tirelessly to create the perfect party updo, the last thing you're going to want to do is mess it up with a hat.  But you don't want to freeze either!  That's why headwraps get our vote for some of the best inventions for winter.  They'll cover up your ears to keep you cozy, but leave some room for your 'do.  With rhinestones and beading, they're ultra-glamorous and the perfect finishing touch on your en-route-to-the-party look.

#4: Kerisma Ponchos 

Kerisma ponchos: $48-$54 each.
Still chilly once you're inside?  A chic poncho can be thrown on top of a fun dress as an elegant - not to mention super comfy - cover up.  Available in a multitude of colors and even a few stripes, you're bound to find one that will look great with your party outfit.

#5: Structured Purses and Clutches

Purses: prices vary.
A special night out calls for a special bag to keep by your side, and we've got you covered!  A cute little clutch will make a stylish accessory without detracting from your outfit.  Plus, most of them have optional straps, so you can keep your hands free while you enjoy some tasty holiday treats or dance the night away!

#6: Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kits

Minimergency kits: $26 each.
So you have a gorgeous bag - now what should you keep in it?  You absolutely must include one of these fantastic emergency kits - they're party essentials.  If anything goes awry during the night, you'll be all set with the 52 lifesaving items included, from earring backs to hairspray to garment tape.  Even when the party's over, you'll never want to leave the house without your emergency kit again.

Thanks for checking out our Festive Fashion series, and may you all have a safe, stylish and fun holiday season!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Festive Fashion: Spotlight on Sparkle

This post is the second in a series on holiday outfit ideas.

The holiday season is all about sparkle.  There are twinkling lights on every house, glistening ornaments on every tree, and we can't forget about that giant, shining New Year's ball in Times Square.  So here's a tip: if you're looking to dress on-trend this season, sparkle is the way to go.  And what better way to show off that glitter than at a holiday party?  Take a cue from Grace Girl Rachel B. as she models a few great sparkly outfits from Grace (styled by Grace Guy JP).  With so many styles, there's something for everyone - let the holiday season be your time to shine!

Silver Belle

Dress, $69.  Necklace, $45.  Bracelet, $28.  Ring on right middle
finger, $19.  Other rings, tights, and shoes, Rachel's own.
Who says you have to limit jewelry with sparkly dresses?  With sequins on the bottom, you're free to dress up your neckline with some extra bling.  Go all out with a rhinestone bangle and a few rings, and you'll light up any party as soon as you arrive.

Midnight Glam

Dress, $68.  Necklaces, $30 each.  Bracelets, $10 each.  Ring on right
middle finger, $18.  Other rings, tights, and shoes, Rachel's own.  
"Sparkle" and "simplicity" don't have to be mutually exclusive!  This dress is interesting and basic at the same time, so there are plenty of options for dressing it up or down.  A little jacket and some boots would keep things more casual, or you can dress it up as Rachel did with great heels and piled-on jewelry.    

Glimmering Grecian

Dress, $72.  Right hand bracelet, $29.  Left hand top bracelet, $34.  Left hand bottom bracelet, $44.  Rings and shoes, Rachel's own.    
Miss the days of disco?  This dress is just what you need - especially if you're not big on sequins.  Its shimmering fabric is a great way to be trendy in an understated way.  Highlight the gorgeous color with some chunky, colorful jewelry, and you've got one statement-making holiday outfit.   

Eclectic and Polished

Top, $54.  Skirt, $45.  Clutch, $32.  Watch (on left wrist), $46.
Earrings, $18.  Barrette, $12.  Rings, tights and shoes, Rachel's own.
Mix it up by pairing a sequined skirt with a sequined top - they don't have to compete for attention.  With black sequins down below and a simple adornment at the shoulders, this outfit is fun without being too busy.  And a bonus: with two separate pieces, think of all the other outfit combinations you could create!  

Cute and Casual

Top, $57.  Earrings, $26.  Bracelet, $36.  Rings, pants and shoes, Rachel's own.
Are the parties on your holiday horizon a little more casual?  Not to worry, you can still bring a little sparkle into your outfit.  This great knit top has sequins sewn throughout for just enough shimmer to add a little something special.  The top becomes party-ready with some heels and great jewelry - then after the festivities, you can incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe.  Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

Check back with us tomorrow for the final installment of our Festive Fashion series - we'll be telling you all about the essential extras for your next party!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Festive Fashion: One Dress, Three Ways

This post is the first in a series on holiday outfit ideas.

"I have nothing to wear!"  Uh oh... ever found yourself saying this?  It's Christmas crunch time, and with parties and family gatherings to go to, the last thing you need is to worry about what you'll wear to each event.  Let us help take the stress of outfit planning out of your holiday forecast so you can relax and focus on the fun!  For the next three days, we'll be presenting a series of posts on holiday fashion.  Check back in with us tomorrow and Saturday for more great outfit tips!

During the holidays, when you may have several events to dress up for, who has the time to shop for and plan a completely different outfit for each occasion?  By choosing a versatile dress and mixing it up with different accessories, you can keep your look fresh while making things easier for yourself.  Today, Grace Girl Molly models three different outfits (styled by Grace Guy JP) using the same fabulous V-neck tie dress ($70) and convertible bag ($30).  Enjoy!

Look #1: Sophisticated Sparkle

Earrings, $21.  Necklace, $24.  Bracelet, $48.  Ring, $19.  Clip-on earrings (worn
as shoe clips), $21 and $24.  Shoes, Molly's own.
Let the dress take center stage with accessories that are at once simple and glamorous.  By keeping your jewelry sparkly yet somewhat minimal, you can let yourself shine while looking totally elegant and polished.  We got creative with some clip-on earrings on Molly's shoes - let's take a look at the close-up, shall we?

And there you have it, more proof that reinventing a dress - or even a pair of shoes - can be as simple as adding a little bling.

Look #2: Soho Style

Blazer, $72.  Earrings, $8.  Bracelet, $20.  Necklace, $28.
Tights and boots, Molly's own.  
 Give this classic dress a downtown spin with a blazer, motorcycle boots and some chunky, spiky jewelry.  A chic topknot and bright lipstick finish off this effortlessly stylish look.

Look #3: Pop of Color

Earrings, $28.  Cowl neck top, $18.  Tights and flats, Molly's own.
A classic little black dress is an absolute must-have for every wardrobe - but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun with color.  A royal blue cowl-neck top peeking out at the neckline blends perfectly with the dress while adding a little something extra, and blue beaded earrings top it all off.

Oh, and did you notice the great bags Molly is sporting with each outfit?  We'll let you in on a little secret: it's all the same bag!  Take a look at some of the ways you can wear it:

As a clutch...
As a wristlet...
As a shoulder bag...
As a cross-body bag...

One dress three ways and one bag four ways.  What's not to love?  Tune in tomorrow for our take on the biggest trend of the holiday season!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Guide to Holiday Shopping at Grace

Ah, holiday shopping.  There are times when you've had the perfect gift for someone picked out since July... and then there are times when you are absolutely, completely, totally stumped.  If you identify with the latter, Grace is here to help.  We've put together a little guide full of gift ideas for all your shopping conundrums, so you can stop stressing and start celebrating.  Enjoy!

For the hostess...


Headed to a holiday party?  We have lots of ideas for hostess gifts...
  • Simpatico hobnail candles ($35 each): In seven different scents and colors, there's one for absolutely everyone.
  • Shannon Martin napkins and coasters ($8 for napkin set, $12 for coaster set): The retro pictures and funny quotes are sure to entertain future party guests.
  • Books (prices vary): With everything from recipes and crafts to quotes and photography, a book about something the hostess is interested in makes a sincere thank-you for the invite.
  • Stonewall Kitchen food products (prices vary): You could either bring these for the party or for the hostess to enjoy on her own... after all, she'll need some R&R later on!
For the man in your life...


If you've ever thought that Grace is just for women, think again!  We recently introduced a small men's section, and there's plenty to find in the rest of the store as well.
  • Men's hats, gloves and scarves (hats, $20-$24; gloves, $15; scarves, $16): Give the gift of warmth and style with classic scarves, gloves, and hats (including fedoras and newsboy caps). 
  • FunkyChunky snack mixes ($15 each): Combine pretzels, chips, popcorn, caramel and chocolate, and what do you get?  Perfection.
  • Darth Vader and Son ($14.95): Perfect for the Star Wars fan, this picture book hilariously follows Darth Vader and a four-year-old Luke Skywalker through familiar parenting dilemmas.
  • A Letter To my Dog ($24.95): This book, full of heartwarming photos & letters that celebrities and other contributors have written to their dogs, is a great gift for a dog lover.

For the teacher...

Show some love to the people who help your kids learn!  Here are a few thoughtful gift ideas...
  • Decomposition books ($4-$12): Great for jotting down notes big and small, these beautifully printed notebooks are made from 100% recycled materials.
  • Christmas ornaments (prices vary): Even if your teacher doesn't celebrate Christmas, our ornaments would be beautiful incorporated into any kind of home decor.
  • Stonewall Kitchen pretzel bark ($15.95): A unique treat that is simply to die for, you can't go wrong with a lovely box of dark chocolate salted pretzel bark.  
  • Quotable cards & frames ($2.95 for card, $12 for frame): Perfect for the little ones' teachers - have your kiddo write a note to his or her teacher in one of the cards, then pair it with a frame for a memorable display.

For the stocking...

Need a few stocking stuffers?  We've got you covered with little items that are some of Grace's top sellers.
  • Olivina hand cremes ($10 each): Available in olive, pomegranate, fig and orange clove, these decadent lotions smell fantastic and are great to throw in a purse.
  • Recycled flip-flop bracelets ($1 each): These cute bangles are bright, eco-friendly and great to stack together.
  • Poo-Pourri bathroom spray ($8 for small, $18 for large):  "Spritz on the bowl before you go, and no one else will ever know!" says the bottle.  Believe us when we say that this gift is at once funny and tremendously useful.
  • Knock Knock sticky notes ($4 each): Emblazoned with exclamations like "CRAP," "WTF," "OMG" and "DUH," these little notepads will brighten up anyone's day.
    For the person who has everything...

    If there's someone on your list who is difficult to shop for, let us make things easier with these great items.
    • Fleece-lined leggings ($20 each): These leggings are a must-have for any winter wardrobe, and since they're one-size-fits-all, there's no guesswork needed.
    • Pinch Provisions Minimergency kits ($26 each): No one should leave home without one of these kits!  Stocked up with 52 essential items (like hairspray, earrings backs and stain remover), these kits are true lifesavers.
    • Primivites by Kathy box signs (prices vary): Find one with a message that will ring true to the recipient, and you've got an instant, heartfelt gift.
    • Spa essentials (prices vary): From mani-pedi kits to exfoliating bath mitts, we have a nice selection of spa items for the home.  Package them together and treat your pal to a relaxing day in.  
    As always, if you're still puzzled about a gift, stop by Grace and we'll be happy to help!

    Sunday, December 9, 2012

    Grace Girl Picks: Rachel R.

    Welcome back!  We're finishing up our eight days of Grace Girl/Guy Picks with co-owner Rachel R.'s favorite items in the store.  Not only does she love these items, but she's also partly responsible for having them in the store in the first place.  Clearly this is one Grace Girl with great taste - read on to find out what she suggests!

    Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan

    Chalk Paint™: paint, $38.95.  Dark/clear wax, $28.95 each.  Small brush
    (pictured), $29.95.  Medium brush, $39.95.  Large brush, $58.95.
    "It's great for DIY." - Rachel R.
    A lot of people (including us!) have been very excited about Grace carrying Chalk Paint™, and with good reason.  Rachel says it best: "Every Christmas when I am going all crazy trying to get my house holiday-ready, I feel the need to paint something totally last minute.  Now with Annie Sloan, it's no problem.  My husband is also a huge fan since he painted the bathroom last Christmas Eve... no priming, no sanding, just paint away!"  And this paint isn't just for big projects - since you can use it on almost any surface, it would be perfect for personalizing a gift.  Try fixing up a great junk shop find, like a tray or picture frame, with a quick coat of paint and some wax.  It's a win-win gift; the recipient gets a beautiful, customized piece, and you get to keep the rest of the paint for yourself!

    Olivina body care

    Olivina: 10 oz. olive hand/body lotion, $24.  Olive bath soap, $10.  Hand
    crème (left to right: pomegranate, olive, orange & clove, fig): $10.    
    "Super moisturizing, not greasy and smells divine." - Rachel R.
    Winter, a.k.a. hand lotion season, is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by stocking up on some fabulous Olivina products?  The cute little hand crèmes smell amazing and are the perfect size to toss in a purse or a stocking for Christmas.  You could also impress holiday house guests by putting the hand/body lotion, body wash, and bath soap in a little basket for them in the bathroom.  Just a word to the wise: you're going to want to keep some for yourself, too! 

    Thanks for checking in with us each day to see all our favorite things!  This series of blog posts may be over, but our Grace Girl/Guy Picks signs in the store will stay put to make your shopping a breeze.  We've had a blast sharing our favorite Grace items with you and we hope you feel energized and inspired about your holiday shopping.  And remember to mark your calendars - December 13th is the first day of our 12 Days of Christmas promotion!  You can sign up for our emails if you haven't already either on the right side of this page or at our Facebook page.  We can't wait to see you soon for some great holiday deals! 

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Grace Girl Picks: Candy

    We're back with some very special Grace Girl Picks, chosen by none other than Grace co-owner Candy.  If she recommends it, you know you'll want to snap it up before it flies out of the store.  Keep reading for her great ideas!

    Simpatico hobnail candles

    Left to right: Ambergris, Stem, Scotch Pine, Fern, White Flower, Coral, Marine.
    Simpatico hobnail candles, $35 each.
    "The perfect house gift!" - Candy
    The person who gets one of these candles as a gift is a lucky one indeed.  We have 7 scents in stock: Ambergris, White Flower, Coral, Scotch Pine, Fern, Stem, and Marine.  One of these candles will burn for around 80 hours, but once it's gone you can keep the beautiful hobnail glass and use it as a vase.  It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!  

    Slouchy socks

    Slouchy socks, $30 per pair.
    "They're comfy, warm, and trendy." - Candy
    These great socks are perfect for winter - they look fantastic peeking over boots, and let's not forget about all the added warmth they bring.  They're loose enough to pull up over your jeans but can also be worn underneath for some undercover layering.  These winter essentials come in several colors, so you'll find a pair for every outfit!

    Make sure you look for the Grace Girl/Guy Picks signs in the store to find these wonderful items.  And remember, tomorrow is our eighth and final day of Grace favorites - you won't want to miss it!