LATKES AND VODKAS

It’s the 6th night of Hannukah, and we’re having latkes and vodkas over at our house! 
A latke (rhymes with vodka) is a potato pancake cooked in oil- a traditional food we eat on Hannukah. My dad created a baked version that is just as good and is super easy to make, not to mention way healthier… though go ahead and fry those babies if you chose! To go along with your crispy latkes, we’re having sparkling cranberry orange cocktails, concocted by my sis. A festive fizzy drink perfect for the holiday season! Scroll down for recipes. 
Not the most attractive food, but they’re absolutely delicious!
Fizz, pop, clink!
I made the drink stirrers with a skewer, 5 folded circles of paper, and double stick tape. Easy peasy! Tape together any extra circles on fishing line, and you have a simple and sparkly garland.
BAKED LATKES
makes about 12
3 potatoes 
1 carrot
1/4 onion
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp flour
1 egg
*serve with sour cream or chunky applesauce 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Peel and shred potatoes (I used a food processor) and mix in 1 tbsp salt. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Shred carrot and onion.
Drain access water from potatoes and squeeze with paper towels.
Mix together potatoes, carrots, onions, flour and egg. 
Scoop 3″ rounds loosely on parchment paper.
Bake 12-15 minutes per side until brown and crispy.
Best baked right away before potatoes turn brown. They’ll still taste good but won’t look so hot!
Delicious savory with sour cream or sweet with applesauce.
SPARKLING CRANBERRY ORANGE COCKTAIL
1 oz vodka
1 oz dry sparkling wine
Splash of cranberry juice
Orange simple syrup to taste – boil half sugar and half water with a couple strips of orange peels
Fresh cranberries
Shake together vodka, juice, and syrup. Strain into a champagne flute, top with sparkling wine, and serve with a cranberry garnish.
ENJOY!
-L

MODERN THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE

One day until our Thanksgiving feast, and my table is already set! I may be a little excited. Creating a tablescape is my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving ( well, second favorite to devouring all of the delicious food).
This year, I tried to use things that I mostly had on hand. I couple of Thanksgivings ago, my mom purchased some beautiful linen napkins from Pottery Barn. They weren’t cheap, but I just HAD to have them. Therefore, I owe them several appearances on my table. I absolutely love the dark teal color, and really wanted to create a table around that color with hints of gold. 
I spray painted pumpkins with a metallic gold spray paint, which has to be the easiest project ever. It makes such an impact too! I purchased some brass candlesticks a couple of years ago at a thrift store, and this is my first time using them! Sometimes you just have to wait for the perfect time to pull things out, ya know? I also had a gold dotted burlap runner from a previous event I hosted. I purchased a set of salt and pepper shakers and a Threshold runner from Target. I put the final touches on the table with some greenery, roses and pheasant feathers. Now we are ready to stuff our faces!

I hand painted a small “say grace” print with water color. I think it may be a permanent framer for my dining room.

My favorite part of my Thanksgiving decor is the floating branch above the table. I found it on the side of the road while on a walk with my daughter. I strung it up with fishing line and commando hooks. I am really considering leaving it up and stringing “snow” from it for winter, so this may not be the last you see of it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-J

A PEAK INTO LOVE & LION

Just a little bit about us and our families!

JENNI…

What inspired you to start a blog?
Leah and I share our ideas, inspirations, and pictures of things we are working on weekly. I knew I wanted to have a blog where I could share these things with others, and it just made sense that we do it together. I am in awe of so many creative bloggers, and I only hope that Leah and I can be just as inspirational… not just as bloggers, but as moms and women in general. We have to support one another!

What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
My husband travels a lot, so whenever we’re together we are usually playing “catch up” on family time. We love being out of the house… dining out (our favorite), going to the park, or even just running errands. We are a pretty on-the-go clan. However, every now and then we love a good lazy day of lounging in our pjs from morning to evening.

What is your favorite type of party to throw?
Kid’s parties!! Probably because I am a mom now, I have so much fun with it. I feel like the sky is the limit creativity-wise. I am also styling a wedding in a couple of months, and I couldn’t be more excited! Weddings are always so beautiful.

How did you and your husband meet?
I was a nanny for his current employer, and Gabe was over at the house a lot for business. I thought he was funny, super talented, and charming. We hit it off immediately, and I knew after our first long conversation (followed by a sweet hug) that I was going to marry him. It scared me, as I was only 20, but I knew my life would be better with him in it. He is honest, hard-working, caring and loves the Lord. He is certainly my “prince charming.”

What is something people may not know about you?
I love to sing! My car is my concert hall… often. My daughter also gets her share of serenades. I grew up singing and “writing songs” and use to think I would actually become a country singer (sigh….. oh the innocence), but one day something inside me just clicked and I became extremely nervous to be on stage or sing in front of people.


LEAH…



What inspired you to start a blog?
Love & Lion is my creative outlet. I love making crafts and recipes for friends and family. Celebrating a birthday or baby or bride with a handcrafted party and making that person feel special is extremely gratifying. Jenni and I hope we will inspire you to celebrate the special people in your lives. We would love to hear about your ideas and events too! 
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
It’s a tie between morning cuddles and evening dance parties. My three-year-old, Ari, is so squishy and sweet, and my newborn, Max, with his happy demeanor and chubby cheeks fits right into the cuddle-fest. We end many nights with a dance party in the kitchen. Max is asleep in our arms even though the music is blaring and Ari is dancing his little heart out! Pure joy!

What is your favorite type of party to throw?
Simple décor and food I can make ahead of time, so that I can relax and enjoy the party. And any event that ends with cake is okay by me!

How did you and your husband meet?
Jeffrey and I met at Indiana University freshman year. The second I saw him, I knew he was the one… so I stalked him. Totally normal thing to do, right? Stalking paid off, and we dated all through college and married in Carmel, California in 2006. Almost eleven years later, and here I am with three wonderfully sweet, silly, stinky boys!

What is something people may not know about you?
I’m a HUGE Harry Potter nerd. I’ve read every book multiple times and will watch the movies every time they come on TV. Literally. Every time. I dressed my then one-year-old as Harry Potter for Halloween with a hand knit Gryffindor scarf, and my husband and I went to Harry Potter World for our 7 year anniversary and bought a wand (wood for 7 years!) I’ve said too much, haven’t I?! 

*Photos by the talented Shara Katerberg-Hsu

CUSTOM HOLIDAY WRAP FOR THE LITTLES

Remember the chain link garlands you made in grade school? Well, we’re reinventing them! They make perfect gift wrap toppers for the holidays. At Love & Lion we celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas, so we’ll show you how to wrap using all the same supplies. This is the perfect craft for your littles! My three-year-old Ari stamped the Hannukah wrap paper all by himself. Great for small motor skills and shape recognition. 
Grab your toddler and get to stamping!

Here’s how to make your chain link garland topper:

Voila!

Here are some shots of our Hannukah party. We used the extra stamped wrapping paper as a table runner and kinda went crazy with the chain links!

We tied the napkins with candles – Hannukah is the Festival of Lights after all! 

Any great holiday crafts you like to do with your kids?
-L