Fall

Icelandic Adventures Through the Seasons

2016 has been a very exciting year for us here at Ends In Style! Christina has now made three trips to beautiful Iceland, one with me (Susie) and Victor for our elopement which she photographed!
Clearly, Iceland is near and dear to our hearts now and we want to share with you why we love it so. We also encourage you to book a trip and see if for yourself! We do our best to take beautiful pictures and to describe things in a way that makes you feel like you're there--but they cannot do the real thing justice! 
We'll help you prepare for your trip and have the best time possible. We're bringing you a series of posts in the coming weeks about traveling to the country that droves of people are flocking to, and with good reason! 

Posts you can look forward to are:

Iceland in Spring: 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

  • What to do 
  • What to see
  • What to pack
  • Where to stay
  • Advantages of visiting in the spring
  • Preparing for your trip and more!

Iceland in Summer: 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

  • How to make the most of the warmest Icelandic weather
  • Capturing the golden light
  • Places to visit while you can (some places are only open in summer)
  • What to eat
  • Maybe even a stop in Greenland :)
  • Advantages to visiting in summer
  • Best short hikes and more!

Iceland in Fall: 

Photo by Susie Prince

Photo by Susie Prince

  • What to pack
  • Getting around
  • Best ways to see the Northern Lights
  • Tours that are worth the money
  • Self-guided tours you HAVE to take
  • Advantages to visiting in fall
  • Where to stay

And Finally....

Eloping in Iceland:

  • Why we chose to elope (and why you may want to as well)
  • Best places to take wedding photos
  • Pros and cons of wedding sites
  • How to get paperwork in order to make your marriage legal in the US
  • Gorgeous photos by Christina of me and Victor (she's a wiz with light!)
  • What to wear and what not to wear for an outdoor Icelandic wedding
  • Luxury stays for your honeymoon 
  • Flower options, and more!!!

We look forward to sharing all of this with you and hope you'll be inspired to take a trip to a country that has captured our hearts and is beautiful and magical enough to make us want to go back in the dead of winter!

Perfect Soups for Fall

As the cool air sets in and the leaves begin to fall, comfort food is what I crave! What's more comforting than a creamy soup? Three soups, that's what!

Today, we want to share three awesome soup recipes with you that you can enjoy in high style for a casual dinner party or just a typical Thursday night at home. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Moqueca de Camaroes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ lbs raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes w/ chili's
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to tast

DIRECTIONS

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onions for several minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and peppers and cook for several minutes more. Add the tomatoes, shrimp and cilantro to the pan and simmer gently until the shrimp turns opaque. Pour in the coconut milk and Sriracha sauce (or Sambal Oelek), and cook just until heated through - do not boil. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. 

Recipe originally from I Breathe I'm Hungry

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Autumn Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 small Onion
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 15 oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 cup Apple Cider
  • 1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Pumpkin Seeds (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450. Peel and seed squash and cut into chunks.
Peel and quarter onion. Toss squash and onion in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor. In a large sauce pan, combine squash puree, pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, apple cider and cream. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Add honey and spices and simmer for 10 minutes.
Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Recipe originally from Cincy Shopper.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguica sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Spanish chorizo can be substituted)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach

DIRECTIONS

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. (I poured off some of the oil in the pot at this point, but the original recipe doesn’t think this is needed.) Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

More Delicious Recipes for Thanksgiving

As you're preparing for time with loved ones this week, you're probably planning your grocery list. Thanksgiving is not complete with merely a turkey, cornbread dressing, and cranberry sauce. The list of tasty side dishes goes on and on! Let's take a look at a few more side dishes from trusted food blogs we love that you should try this holiday season. For full posts from each food blog, follow the link by either clicking the photo or the name of the blog. All credit goes to each blog for recipe and photography.

1. Squash Casserole from Add A Pinch

Image via Add A Pinch

Image via Add A Pinch

I love squash casserole! It's one of my favorites for an additional vegetable in the Thanksgiving spread. But I wont let myself get too carried away...squash casserole may technically be a vegetable, but it's covered in cheese and butter and crunchy topping, so I don't think I can really pat myself on the back when I pile it high on my plate. Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups sliced yellow squash
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet or saute pan over medium-low heat. Add squash and onions and cook until tender.
  3. To a large bowl, add eggs and lightly whisk. Add cheese and milk and whisk into egg until well-combined. Add cooked squash and onions to egg mixture and stir well to combined. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet used to cook squash and onions. Add to squash casserole mixture. Add cayenne pepper, if using, along with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray and pour squash casserole mixture into the baking dish. Top evenly with crushed Ritz crackers. Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes, or until top has lightly browned and casserole does not "jiggle" when the dish is moved.
  5. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes before serving.

2. Green Beans with Almonds by DoItDelicious with Jessica Seinfeld

Image via DoItDelicious

Image via DoItDelicious

Green beans are a must on your plate for Thanksgiving. They're green, healthy, and an actual vegetable that is not coated in cheese (not that I would mind that too much!). The almonds add a nice crunch, and this is a vegan recipe if you are hosting anyone with a restricted diet! Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds 
  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed 
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until golden brown 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to the boiling water then add the beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes; drain.

Add the beans, pepper (12 turns on pepper mill) and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt to the skillet and return to medium heat to heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Use tongs to combine.

3. Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese by Divas Can Cook

Image via Divas Can Cook

Image via Divas Can Cook

This dish needs no introduction. Holy yum! Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups milk
  • salt & pepper
  • paprika (optional)
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded (a must)
  • 6-8 oz. velvetta, shredded (feel free to cut back on the velvetta if you don't want it to be super creamy)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar (can use less if you don't like a sharp taste in your mac n cheese)
  • 1 cup colby & monteray jack, shredded (cheese blend)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cook macaroni until just al dente or a little under al dente. (Look on the back of the box to see how long you need to cook your pasta for it to reach al dente.) Be careful no to overcook.
  3. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add milk, heavy cream & cheeses (except for the smoked cheddar).
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Taste the milk mixture and add salt & pepper until it has a good taste. You can also add in other seasonings like onion, paprika, etc. Tasting will help avoid having a plain, bland bake macaroni & cheese. Yuck!
  7. When you are content with the taste, add in the eggs.
  8. Stir well until combined.
  9. Butter a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.
  10. Add macaroni to the baking dish.
  11. Pour cheese mixture over macaroni.
  12. Make sure the cheese distributed well.
  13. Top with smoked cheddar cheese. (I add a little more Colby jack as well.) Sprinkle with paprika and/or black pepper, if desired.
  14. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Do not overbake. It may be a bit jiggly when you take it out of the oven. It will firm up as it cool.
  15. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes or until fully set.

4. Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Nut Crumble by Oh She Glows

Photo via Oh She Glows

Photo via Oh She Glows

Thanksgiving doesn't have to mean packing on the feed bag and feeling miserable the next day; there are many recipes to make your favorite dishes in healthier ways. I am not gluten free or vegan, but I've made a few recipes from Oh She Glows in the past and have never been disappointed with the results. Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato mash:

  • 4.5-5 pounds sweet potatoes (approx. 4-5 large)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt, or to taste

For the crunchy nut crumble:

  • 1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 1/3 cups pecan halves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and roughly chop sweet potatoes into large chunks. Place into a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to med-high, and gently boil for 10-20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 2.5 quart (10 cup) casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Prepare the crumble topping: Pulse the oats in a food processor until coarsely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped pecans, oats, almond meal/flour, cinnamon, and salt. Pour on melted coconut oil, melted butter, and maple syrup. Stir until combined.
  4. Once cooked and drained, place sweet potatoes into a large bowl.
  5. Mash potatoes with the butter and coconut oil until smooth. Now, stir in the maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Adjust to taste if desired. Spoon into casserole dish and smooth out.
  6. Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the sweet potato mixture, evenly.
  7. Bake, uncovered, at 375F for 16 to 23 minutes, until the dish is hot throughout. Plate and serve immediately with a pat of vegan butter or coconut oil.

Note: Instead of boiling the potatoes you can roast them whole in the oven and then scoop out the flesh. The choice is yours! 2) For a creamy twist, try subbing some of the butter/oil in the sweet potato mash for full-fat canned coconut cream.

5. Honey Balsamic Pan Seared Brussels Sprout by Eazy Peazy Mealz

image via Eazy Peazy Mealz

image via Eazy Peazy Mealz

Some people seem to have a negative memory of Brussels sprouts as a dish they were made to clean off their plate as a child. If you're someone who thinks you don't like Brussels sprouts, I recommend you give them another shot. They're so delicious and tender when cooked correctly and will really add a nice element of leafy green that your holiday table needs. Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups quartered Brussel sprouts
  • ½ Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1½ Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs pine nuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Over medium-high heat, heat oil in a sauté pan until oil is hot, but not smoking
  2. Add garlic and quartered Brussel Sprouts, and leave alone (don't stir) for 1-2 minutes until a golden crust starts to form at the bottom of the pan
  3. Add in honey and balsamic vinegar, and give Brussel sproouts a toss, stirring them around the pan so they are evenly coated
  4. Add in pine nuts, let cook 2-3 more minute

We hope you will try some of these recipes and have a beautiful spread of dishes on your table this Thanksgiving to enjoy with your loved ones.  





Our Favorite DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

It's that time of year that everyone becomes a creative director/costume designer and begins dreaming up complicated, funny, scary, or gross costumes for themselves, loved ones, pets and friends.  We have divided up the categories and picked our top 3 DIY costumes in each.

 

Kids and Babies

A Spider and its Web!  How adorable for you and your little one?  And so easy, too!  I imagine you can stay simple with all white clothing and a black sharpie, a black onesie and some stuffed black tube socks.  And hey, not only is it cute, but black and white is always chic.

This is one of the coolest costumes for either adults or kids.  I first saw this costume on a couple one Halloween in Chicago and completely fell in love with it.  This can get as complicated or as simple as you want, depending on how many layers you add.  The most essential ingredients are the clear umbrellabattery powered Christmas lights, and some awesome shiny fabric cut into strips.  The best part about this costume other than the oohs and ahhs when you walk by is that your kids will be easily seen by a car.

I have yet to meet a child, girl or boy, who is not enamored with this series.  I can't get over the cuteness of this little yellow costume, and again the bright yellow color makes it easy for cars to spot.  You don't have to make this from scratch, just a little shopping around and you can put together this little yellow number: pants, jacket, hat, satchel.

Adults

Who doesn't have a trench coat (it doesn't have to be red) an awesome hat (if you don't have one, its not a bad investment) and a globe? If you don't have a real globe or just don't want to carry one around all night get a blow up one!  

For a dramatic, simple costume, Mother Earth is a great costume.  You can make it by purchasing a green or black dress or pants and shirt and hot glueing faux foliage from Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

This has got to be the best find yet… OMG!  I have no words except that I love it!  The link gives you the perfect tutorial.  Pair this makeup with a color blocked outfit and you are good to go!

Pets

 

A scuba dog!

A scuba dog!

Ok, this is seriously cute! I can hardly contain my laughter! This poor dog looks miserable in the cutest way possible. If you have a smaller dog, use a kid's scuba mask and 20oz bottles rather than the larger ones in the photo. Most everything in this costume can be easily made and you may even have most of the items in your home already.

A dogion? A liog?

A dogion? A liog?

I have a soft spot for pit bulls, bullies, pitties, etc. They make excellent lions because of the short hair and square head. ADORABLE! Click the image to find the Instructables "how-to" on making your own lion mane for your four-legged friend. Really, this will work well for any tan dog, big or small.

Puss N Boots--just try not to give this precious cat all the treats!

Puss N Boots--just try not to give this precious cat all the treats!

If you have an orange cat, this is the perfect costume! My boyfriend has a chubby orange cat and this would be perfect costume for him, but I doubt I could get him in a costume and come away with all my limbs intact. If your cat doesn't hate being dressed up, this is sure to impress all his feline friends!

Couples

Google Maps!

Google Maps!

Feeling clever? Try this easy DIY costume on for size. Wear a comfy t-shirt in a tan or grey, use yellow duct tape and print out road names from your surrounding areas, then make a pin headpiece out of red poster board and paint. Voila! A simple and cute costume for you and your significant other that feels personal and local because of your choice of street names. 

Feeling fancy and French?

Feeling fancy and French?

Here's a new twist on an old favorite, French maid Halloween costume--try being a delicious and pretty croquembouche and have your fella dress as a chef! This costume is DIY friendly and very original. Don't forget to use your French accent all evening to really sell it. Oui oui!

Paula Deen and a Stick of Butter

Paula Deen and a Stick of Butter

This one makes me laugh so much! It's simple and easy to make, and you probably have nearly everything you need on hand already. Maybe you need to run out and get some materials to make a giant stick of butter and some grey hairspray, but isn't it worth the trip for the laughs?

We hope you'll have a great time planning your Halloween and coming up with a costume you love! Have any great ideas for a clever costume? Share it with us! We'd love to hear from you!

October Social Calendar

Here at Ends In Style, we like to stay busy in our community and take advantage of all of the wonderful things Atlanta has to offer. There's always a festival, parade, lecture, concert, or other special event going on. Often, these things are even free!

We're going to take the guesswork out of your October social calendar and help you plan! That way, you can have fun events lined up and skip the couch-potato Saturday nights this month!

Yet another short film festival! On October 9-11, Shortsfest arrives at dooGallery. Many short film submissions are given the credit they are due with screenings only costing $6 each! You can get in a lot of entertainment and see some of the talent and skill from local filmmakers. 

Aqua Vino, a wine tasting at the Georgia Aquarium on October 9, 7-10pm for the Grand Tasting, $125 for members, $150 for non-members. This is a chance to taste of 200 wines and delicious food all while benefiting ocean conservation efforts. Jeff Corwin even hosts the event!

October 11 from 12-6pm, you can enjoy delicious chili, live music, games, food vendors, and more! $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Do not miss the fun and tasty Brookhaven Chili Cook Off!

Like art? Like free things? Then save some time in your social calendar to enjoy Elevate, a free public art festival with dance, music, visual arts and more downtown, October 17-23.

Taste of Atlanta! This one is likely no stranger if you love food (that's got to be everyone, right?). October 24-26, in the heart of Atlanta, Taste of Atlanta brings you 90+ local restaurants, live cooking stages, and drinks. Come and enjoy all that Atlanta has to offer from one convenient midtown location! Buy your tickets in advance to save big.


There is so so much more! Don't miss the Little 5 Points Parade and bar crawls, Outdoor Beer Festival in Candler Park, the Hot-Air-Balloon Festival, The Atlanta Race (5k and 10k), haunted houses, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, the list goes on and on! In a city as great as ours, there's never a reason to have "nothing to do". 

WE LOVE ATLANTA!