Etsy Favorites: Passion for Peppermint

December 28, 2013, 09:00 am  Posted by Nicole McConville

This time of the year I get struck by a nearly uncontrollable craving. As the shelves of the grocery store fill with the enticement of seasonal treats, I focus my attention on seeking out my personal holiday favorite: peppermint. I think this desire was instilled at an early age with that miracle known as peppermint ice cream, a frozen miracle of flavor, spotted with little peppermint candy bits. I looked forward to its arrival every year. Now as an adult my culinary tastes have expanded and my sweet tooth has been (somewhat) tamed, but the annual love for that cooling peppermint remains. With that urge in mind I set my eyes to Etsy to seek out some items that would bring lip-smacking, smile-inducing peppermint pleasure to the rest of these chilly winter months. What I found only fuels my need to stock up. Full credits and shop links below!

TOP LEFT: Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies by Butter Blossoms
TOP RIGHT: Peppermint Hot Chocolate by Carriage Door
MIDDLE LEFT: Holiday Red and White French Macarons by The Splendid Sweet Shoppe
MIDDLE RIGHT: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Blondies by Bake It Happen
BOTTOM LEFT: White Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallows by Epic Edibles
BOTTOM RIGHT: Peppermint Bark by Mother Fudger


February 03, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Nicole McConville

For many centuries and across cultures, the heart icon has served as a symbol of union, togetherness, passion, love, spirituality and even the essence of the human soul.

Who among us hasn’t spent time prepping a Valentine’s Day card featuring a heart shape cut from colorful paper? Is it even possible to look at a heart without softening just a little into a smile?

The evocative shape takes center stage in our book, FOCUS: Love, one of the books in our series showcasing digital photographers in their quest to see the world around them with perceptive eyes. Whether crafted by human hands, formed by nature or simply pulled together from our own need to make sense from the highly visual world around us—graffiti scrawled on an alleyway wall, the sloping curves of an iron gate, shapes cut from paper by a child, worn stones scattered on a forest floor—hearts can be found almost everywhere … as long as you’re looking. You’ll find 250 photographs by 150 photographers from 30 different countries within the pages of  this book.

View this little book teaser a sampling of the great imagery in the book.

We’re giving away one copy of FOCUS: Love. So, how do you enter for a chance to win? Leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 9. Any comment is fine, but you’re welcome to leave a comment letting us know how you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. One winner will be selected at random and notified on Friday, February 10. Click here for the official rules. And good luck! This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Christine!


If you’re anything like me, the manner in which a gift is packaged can be just as important as the item inside. Why not show the same sense of thoughtfulness and generosity in the aesthetics of giving as in the gesture? And let’s be honest here, folks, sometimes a rather simple token of affection and appreciation can really be elevated to something much more when enveloped in pretty and showy attire. A beautiful bow, some ribbon, or a handmade paper wrap can make all the difference. I therefore gift to you a collection of some of my personal favorite (incredibly simple!) DIY gift wrapping ideas I’ve spotted out there in the creative blogosphere. All of these ideas are accompanied by helpful step-by-step tutorials to make your seasonal giving just a little bit easier. Just click on the links below each image!

L to R: A Spoonful of Sugar, A Pair of Pears, MinieCo, Daisyley, Dana Made It

A Spoonful of Sugar: Transform Japanese washi tape into a colorful, playful design.

A Pair of Pears: Utilize simple (but elegant) ideas in paper, yarn, and twine.

MiniCo: All you need is brown paper and a silver pen to create something artful and modern.

Daiseyley: Thread twine through bay leaves or another fragrant leaf for a gift with eco flair.

Dana Made It: Whip up beautiful ribbon out of fabric scraps for a colorful finishing touch.