DIY Holiday Cookie Box

Featured Posts FOOD/RECIPES LIFESTYLE Uncategorized
a box of christmas cookies

The Holidays are my MOST favorite time of the year! And every year I’ve always wanted bake cookies for friends, but never have! So this year my friend Lindey and I spent 2 days of baking some of our favorite cookies to make holiday cookie boxes for our friends and loved ones! 

We started the process by picking 3-4 cookie recipes that we wanted to be the staple of our cookie box. I knew I wanted to make and decorate sugar cookies, so we used this Martha Stewart Basic Sugar cookie recipe.  I will say I wish I would have taken the sugar cookies out of the oven about a minute sooner. They are DELISH, but a little bit more like a shortbread cookie! Once we tweaked it, the rest came out much softer! So keep that in mind. But that’s if you don’t eat all the dough first:) We also used all different styles of christmas cookie cutters to make it cute and fun.  We spent a few days baking at Lindey’s beautiful home, and she had it set up so cute with all of our baking utensils. 

The Royal Icing is also a little finicky if you’ve never worked with it before. You have to keep it sealed once you mix it up, or it will harden fast. It’s so yummy and pretty on the cookies. Here’s my easy recipe:


4 cups confectioner’s sugar

3 Tbsp meringue powder

1/2 tsp vanilla 

1/2 cup warm water

Sift together dry ingredients. Then add vanilla + water and mix with hand mixer for 5-6 minutes. Add more or less water if it’s not to the consistency you need. Add food coloring and put it piping bag! Once you are ready to ice, you will pipe your OUTLINE ONLY with the royal icing. Be careful b/c it can tend to be runny. Once you have your cookie outlined, fill in 3/4 with icing inside the line. Then use a tooth pick to completely cover the rest and it will fill in. Let cookie sit for 20 min to harden before adding any other colors on top, or it will bleed and you will cry! hahahah. 

a bunch of sugar cookies un iced

Another fave recipe of mine is traditional crinkle cookies. The recipe we used  you can find here.

We did adjust this recipe by adding more flour because the dough was not thick enough. But it turned out amazing once we did that! They taste like a brownie in a cookie form. SO GOOD. 

The amazing thing about putting together these boxes, is that you can use really any kind of container to do so. We wanted to do it on a budget, so we used gift boxes we got from target. But you could use a wood box if you wanted it to be something they could keep after the treats were gone! I also used cute little plastic holiday tins I picked up at walmart.  I covered the bottom of the box in a christmas parchment paper I found at World Market. I then took card stock and cut pieces to make the sections for my different kinds of cookies. I just cut  and doubled the card stock to make it sturdy! I then filled the sections with crinkle paper to add dimension and give something for the cookies to rest on. These are such a fun and easy gift idea! You could do these for any holiday or occasion!

My friend Lindey added a different twist to her box. I loved that we made all the cookies together, but had a slightly different outcome! She put some of her treats in cute little treat bags which I loved!

box of holiday cookies

I added some tasty pretzels from Theresa’s Twists, and picked up a few other kinds of cookies at Trader Joes! You really could put anything in this box. Make it your own and fill it with things you know your recipients enjoy! I also added pretty twine and candy canes to the box once I closed it all up, and of course a cute tag. These are fun and easy to do, and I promise will bring your friends and family joy when they receive them! I’d love to see your boxes when you’re done, so please comment below and share! Have fu

The Perfect Outdoor Friendsgiving Ideas



outdoor blogger friends giving

THANKSGIVINGThe expression of gratitude. Being Thankful. Being Grateful. Gathering with friends and family. Friends giving- all of these things AND celebrating with people you wish were your real family.

Tis the season to be thankful, so I thought hosting a Friendsgiving would be so fun! Why not have it out doors and invite other empowering women to join me! I invited different women that inspire me in some way! All the way from business owners, to bloggers, to moms and hairstylists. Each of them has pushed through hardships to follow their dreams and make them realities. Which I find VERY inspirational and motivating. I think it’s important as women to support each other and build one another up. That’s why I wanted a day where we all came together to celebrate friendship and accomplishment! They’ve each played a vital role in my life, and I wanted them to know that! I gathered with 8 of my Nashville friends, and we had an outdoor Friendsgiving 2018 to remember!  Continue reading

Instagram Guide to the best Nashville Murals


a blonde woman standing in from of the nashville music mural in 12th south

Nashville has become the new IT place to get those Instagram worthy photos in front of all of the best Nashville murals! So I thought why not take a little Nashville mural tour to my most favorite ones! There are so many, I didn’t cover them all- but here are the ones you have to visit if you come! So here we go with my Nashville Mural Tour List! Continue reading

The Saffron Diaries, meet Sujata


beautiful woman standing along a colorful mural

It’s no secret I love making friends! Especially when those friends and I have a lot in common! I started following Sujata a long time ago, and it was such a treat to finally meet her in person last December! OH, and she has an Instagram husband too:) Better yet, they are from Texas so of course we had something in common since my hubby’s from there too! She is not only beautiful and an amazing blogger, but she’s SO SMART! She works in clinical research, and uses blogging as a creative outlet! I’m so excited to be featuring her on the blog today! Be sure to check her out! Meet Sujata, AKA The Saffron Diaries!



a beautiful woman standing in the sunshine


Hi everyone! Sujata here from Saffron Diaries! A little bit about myself: I am a native Texan, a diehard Longhorn fan and alum of the University of Texas, and lover of all things food and fashion.  I work in clinical research and, well, my job is way more technical than creative so I use the blog to balance the use of both sides of my brain! I’m a first time blogger, and my purpose has sort of revolved over the last 6 months. This year, I’m focusing on a year-long project which I call ‘Journey through 30’. (I turned 30 back in January) Each month I take on a new experience, something that I’ve been wanting to incorporate in my life or just try for the first time ! I’m learning a lot and getting to meet lots of wonderful people along the way!

What’s your favorite song right now?

Downtown by J Balvin (pretty much anything by J Balvin, to be honest…)

What’s your favorite style to wear?

Preppy/chic. (although this is totally determined by my mood, I’m a chameleon)

a pretty woman wearing glasses

What’s your guilty pleasure snack-go-to?

Chocolate (currently those Oreo-Milka bars)

What’s your MUST-HAVE beauty item that you can’t live with out?

Fenty Beauty PRO FILT’R Soft- this foundation just gets me! #melaninlove

Who’s the most influential person in your life and why?

My mom (shh don’t tell her). I don’t think there’s anyone else who just knows me for me as well as she does. She always has the answers, and she never holds back from calling me out (which just may be ALL THE TIME). She may be the queen of tough love, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s the one thing you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?

I don’t think I’ve reached my career goals just yet. This is partially due to the fact that I’m still trying to figure out which direction to take it in. It’s hard reaching a goal that you’re not sure of! Some of this has to do with just where my husband  and I are right now and we’re trying to figure out what’s next! Being a Type A, it has been really hard letting go of that sense of control, but I’m learning!

If you could give someone some great life advice, what would it be?

If I’ve learned anything in the last 30 years, is that life requires adaptability. Life is constantly changing, and you have to be in the mindset to keep up!

What’s your fave inspirational quote?

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going  wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. – Audrey Hepburn

pretty woman wearing glasses

Where is one place you’d love to travel to?


What drives you and gives you passion in your profession?

I work in public health research and let me tell you, it’s very easy to forget that the work that you’re putting in can have some downstream effect on people. You get bogged down with the day to day, and losing the big picture is so simple. The times where I’m reminded of the importance of what I do is when I describe my work to other people. I think people lose sight of the fact that medical research is not just limited to finding the next best drug. Working in a field where we can learn to truly understand why people make the choices that they do (especiallythose that affect their health) can lead us to better medicine, and one that focuses more on prevention! (Vaccinate, eat healthy, be physically active!!)



The Man behind Denizen, meet Greg


a man with a beard smiling and reading the newspaper

I love Tuesdays. It’s a fun day where I take the spotlight off of what I’m doing and showcase someone else that I find really inspiring. We are all here to build each other up and help one another out right?! Well I have only featured a few dudes, because well, I know a lot of Boss Babes! But when I come across a guy who is working hard for the money and hard for what he believes in, I want others to know about him too! So, when I met Greg- I was super into what he had brought to Nashville! It’s a cool concept and I am so thrilled to be featuring him today on the Blog! Stay tuned because we will be teaming up for some fun things coming up in the future! You need to all check him out! Meet the man behind Denizen, Greg!


To Abbey, thank you for featuring me!  To the readers, enjoy this insight into who I am! 

Who I am: My name is Greg Brannon.  I’m originally from South Carolina, but I’ve been in Nashville for 3 years now.  How I’d describe myself: Dog Dad, Rye Whiskey Sipper, Ok Worker Outer, Nashville Denizen and last but not least Media Mogul (in the making).  

What I do:  I run a city guide here in Music City, called Denizen.  It aims to represent the best that Nashville has to offer across all aspects of urban life.  So, basically, I traipse around Nashville seeking out new spots, revisiting old faithful’s and conversing with some of the coolest people in town.  All in an effort to help locals and visitors maximize their time in Nashville, no matter how long or short it may be. 

a guide all about nashville



What’s my favorite song right now?

Morning “Pick Me Up” Song: Gasoline – Halsey 

Mid-day Song: Eye of the Tiger – Survivor 

Bedroom Jam: Sexual Healing – Marvin Gay  

What’s my favorite style to wear? 

Go to outfit:  Long Sleeve Henley | Dark Denim | Chukka Boots | Flat Bill 

bearded man with his dog

What’s my guilty pleasure snack-go-to?

My long-standing favorite has to be Peanut M&M’s, although the Five Daughter’s chocolate & sea salt doughnut is quickly working its way up the ladder.

What’s my MUST-HAVE beauty item, that I can’t live without?

Beard Comb & Beard Balm.  Gotta keep my whiskers in check.

Who’s the most influential person in my life and why?

My mom – for sure.  I wouldn’t use the phrase “tough love” but I wasn’t coddled growing up.  At a young age, she taught me that if I wanted something, I had to put in the work.  She made sure that I understood what “respecting others” meant and she never let me quit.  She is a hustler, she busted her hump every day and I never heard her complain.  When I got out of line, she disciplined, when I felt down, she encouraged and when I came up with really bad ideas, she cautioned.  She has been and continues to be the one constant voice of reason in my life. 

What’s the one thing you want to accomplish that you haven’t?

The restoration my father’s 1971 Torino GT.  He bought the car when he was 18 and over the years, it has found itself at the bottom of the priority list, as far as things to take care of go.  I think it would be very cool, to have the car restored and see the look on his face when he sees it.  Not “world changing” I know, but something I’d like to accomplish.  

a man with a beard who is smiling

If you could give someone some great life advice, what would it be?

Always be your biggest fan.  Life will divvy out enough critics, so believe in yourself and revel in your accomplishments.  Never be too hard on yourself.

What’s your fav inspirational quote?

“If you’re tired of starting over,  stop giving up.” 

While short and sweet, the message is crystal clear.  This quote hit home with me not long ago and has rooted itself into my everyday life.  So many times, we take the path of least resistance…aka “giving up”.  This quote reminded me that if I wanted circumstances to change, I needed to stay committed and learn to enjoy the process.  

Where is one place you’d love to travel?

Everywhere…. I had the luck of getting to travel pretty extensively in my previous profession.  Getting out and experiencing the world and all of the cultures in it is something that I crave constantly.  Top place on my list right now is Ireland…. I was so close, when I went to Scotland, but I didn’t get to visit. 

What drives you and gives you passion in your profession?

The Partners.  My goal with Denizen, is to build a unique network of like-minded individuals and businesses that make Nashville better with what they do.  People are such a valuable asset, and I feel that Denizen has the best of the best. Interacting with folks has always been a driving force in my life.  I love to meet new people and find out what makes them tick.  You can learn so much from others, and with me being new to this industry, the people are where I’m going to learn the most.

a man with a beard smiling