The Perfect Host and Hostess Gift Guide by Jacy Schleier

As you're heading out to numerous soirées this holiday season, host and hostess gifts are a necessity. Of course a bottle of wine is usually the go to gift, but why not spice it up and gift your amigo or amiga with something a little more personal? To help you become a professional party goer, we've provided some host/hostess gift ideas from Austin stores and restaurants that are sure to impress.

Seda France Candle from Adelante ($36.95) 1206 W. 38th St.
Created right here in Austin in 2001, these home fragrances are known for their beautiful Pagoda box packaging that don't even require wrapping paper. They have also been dubbed the "perfect gift" by lifestyle guru Colin Cowie on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Loop & Tie: Giving and Receiving the Perfect Gift by Amy Pham

Holiday shopping can be a daunting task as the stores grow more and more overcrowded and the nerves set in for picking something your friends and family will genuinely like.

Enter Loop & Tie, a website dedicated to eliminating the stress of gift searching and the worry of choosing an unwanted gift. Loop & Tie offers a collection of products from independent brands throughout the world and allows you, the gift giver, to select the collection you want to send - $25, $50, $75 or $100. Once you pick a collection to send or choose the option to select a specific gift, you enter the recipient's email address. You can send a gift to one person or a large group in a single transaction.

Layering up with the Coatigan by Amy Pham

We're about to get out of this 85 degree weather so we can pull out all of our favorite scarves and sweaters.

We’ve been browsing for some new Fall pieces and we have hit the jackpot. This seaon we discovered the Coatigan, a hybrid mix of a coat-and-cardigan that has put all of our layering dilemmas to rest. This new fall favorite combines the coziness of a sweater and the utility of a coat all into one perfect piece of clothing that will keep us warm from the cold weather.

Take a look at some of our favorites:

Urban Outfitters, $79

Fall Recipe: Staff Picks by Jacy Schleier

(Photo from

What's a more fall like food than a warm cup of soup? This week's fall recipe is perfect for a cozy night in when curling up on the couch is preferable. It's a favorite of mine that I actually learned from my dad. Cooking was serious business in my house and I'm pretty lucky to have grown up with two parents who are excellent cooks. This Leek and Potato Soup recipe is super simple and takes under an hour to whip up. In France they call it Potage Parmentier, so the name itself should make you feel like a seasoned chef.

Leek and Potato Soup
(originally from Jacques Pepin)

Thanksgiving To-Go by Amy Pham

 There’s nothing more exciting to us than the feast that commences for Thanksgiving – and of course, the leftovers.

However, if the idea of cooking a whole meal from a roasted turkey to a selection of pies seems daunting, we have a Plan B. These Austin restaurants and grocery stores are ready and willing to provide you with a Thanksgiving dinner with no-mess and no-stress.

: If you’re looking to dine out, these restaurants that will be open Thanksgiving Day.

Fall Recipe: Staff Picks by Jacy Schleier

(Photo from

Your weekly dose of fall recipes is back this week with a focus on sweet treats. You know, the kind that fill the kitchen with the aroma of chocolate and make your mouth water while you're baking. I have to admit that I have a stronger sweet tooth this time of year, and I'm sure the same goes for most of you. To encourage you to give in to that craving, we have the perfect Chocolate Raspberry Bar recipe from TRIBEZA's Design Intern, Madeline Waggoner.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 t. almond extract
1 cup raspberry jelly
12 oz. chocolate chips

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