{everyone needs a side of sparkle}



As of late, a Side of Sparkle hasn't been very sparkly or shiny or filled with all those pretty things I love sharing with you all! Life happens and my two tots are keeping me on my toes instead of sitting in front of my mac with a hot cup of coffee. So, I apologize if I haven't been posting regularly. I'll post what I can when I can and hope you enjoy it all the same!

With the holiday season comes the need for creative hostess gifts. Sure, a bottle of wine (or better, champagne) fits the bill, but it's the thought that counts, right? So think about your recipient or the occasion and flex those creative muscles. Here's a little hostess gift inspiration. I love the idea of bringing something homemade and this collection is meant to provide the basics for a morning after treat. I know the last thing on my mind when throwing a fete is what I'll have for breakfast the next day. Bake some scones, toss in some preserves (or in this case, cider syrup), add a bag of coffee, a few extra goodies and ta-da! You have a thoughtful gift your host is sure to appreciate!

Just a side note: save the delight of cider syrup from epicurean extinction. Once a New England pantry staple, this classic autumn-time sweeter is rarely around anymore. I made a batch following the post from reading my tea leaves. It came out deliciously and I am looking forward to sharing it with my friends this Christmas. I purchased a slew of these swing top bottles from IKEA for $4.00. Or, if you're really ambitious, a 12 pack. Tie on a tag and a cinnamon stick with some pretty ribbon and you have one sweet little gift.

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