Christmas is fast approaching, just a few short days away, and yet it still seems difficult to grasp how quickly this year has flown by. It seems a little stereotypical, cliche even, to write about all of those nostalgic feelings and "How did we get here?" vibes that come as soon as the year starts drawing to a close. And, it’s also pretty much a guaranteed topic for anyone writing on the internet over the next two weeks. Still, it makes sense to be reflective. A lot can happen in 365 days, and as we welcome in 2017, it seems like a good enough reason to look back at all we went through.
2016 was a roller coaster of a year for many of us, if all the memes out there can teach us anything. For us at LUX too, it was definitely a year of change!
A spark of an idea at a casual team meeting brought a new adventure in the form of a new location. It was thrilling, magical, and more than a little chaotic. (Even after we opened, there was always "just one more thing" to do...)
In the online world as well, we experienced smaller, but equally impactful changes. For example, we welcomed and grew our 4 Seasons subscription service, built a collaborative network with talented women and businesses that surround us (Poppy Barley, Pura, withJustine, Publicity Room and Dallas Curow to name a few!), and connected with you in ways we could never have imagined.
As so many of us do, we keep pushing forward and fail to stop and recognize all that we've accomplished. So to allow ourselves a chance to step back, look around, and just be in the moment, we decided to plan a group get-together. A cookie exchange seemed like just the ticket to amp up our holiday spirits...and our blood sugar levels! In the warm glow of our (now complete) beauty lounge we simply sat, relaxed and took in the joy of good company.
Nothing can put you in the Christmas mood faster than swapping stories, laughs and sweet treats with people who lift you up and inspire you. There’s an energy in the room that makes the craziness throughout the year totally worth it. Surrounded by shortbreads, Florentines, rocky roads, homemade Nanaimo bars and Rice Krispie treats, we stepped away from our phones, celebrated the best of LUX, and cheered to a new and exciting chapter ahead.
Ever hosted your own cookie exchange? If not, it works like this. Each person brings in his or her best baking recipe - enough to divide evenly among the group. Then sit, sip eggnog, enjoy the party, and at the end of the evening, everyone fills their boxes with a selection of treats from the other guests. All the cookies with a fraction of the baking. Win win!
If you have a last minute exchange or New Year's party to attend, here’s an easy and fast recipe for delicious, crispy Florentine cookies.
½ cup butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup pecan pieces
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, add oats and pecan pieces and blend until fine.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add egg, vanilla and baking soda and beat until incorporated.
- Add in mixed oats and pecans and mix until dough becomes stiff and sticky.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place dough in small balls, about 2cm wide and 10cm apart (these cookies spread out flat!).
- Bake for 6-8 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Enjoy as is, or for extra decoration, drizzle melted chocolate along the top of the cookies. Let chocolate harden before packing away.
*Adapted from the Food Network by my mother