Last-Minute V-Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Giant stuffed bears line the grocery store, candied hearts are making eyes at would-be dieters, and love is simply in the air. 

Valentine’s Day is a chance to show someone special that they’re always on your mind. You could go with the expected gift: a two-layer box of mystery chocolates (not knocking it.) Or you could choose to go head over heels with these amazing, albeit non-traditional gifts for Valentine’s Day. 

1. Realistic heart jewelry 

Can an anatomic heart be more pretty in this rose gold setting? This Etsy seller even pairs it with a custom printed gift note. 

2. Cooking Class

This Valentine’s Day, make a 3-course meal with your special one. Many cooking classesfeature specialty chefs from your local area, cocktails, and guided sessions on knife skills and plating. Then enjoy a candle lit dinner. 

3. Citrus Scents

Totally a favorite on a normal day, grapefruit is known to boost confidence and … ahem performance. Wink. Wink. This grapefruit + cardamomscent will also enhance mood and decrease stress so you are kept in the moment.

4. Shadow Box

  Swoon! Fill a shadow box with tokens from your relationship: photos, tickets, notes.

5. Chocolate!!!

Yes! Chocolate! But you can take it beyond sweets, like these fancy hot chocolatecanisters sourced from South America or the Dominican Republic. 

And yes! Etta+Billie has you covered in the chocolate realm too. Every one of our main products has cocoa butter in it (aka the main ingredient in Chocolate). We also use cocoa powder in our Geranium Patchouli Soap (double the chocolate).

Want more information on this chocolatey goodness? Check back next week for our ingredient spotlight on cocoa butter. 

Go-To Tips: Better Camping Meals

Camping, depending on your outdoor expertise and hiking level, can vary from “glamping” to completely roughing it in the wilderness. But being away from your home and its kitchen doesn’t mean you have to eat trail mix during your entire camping trip! Here are a few tips, tricks, and hacks to help you eat well while still being able to pack light and remain environmentally friendly on your next camping trip.

General Tips

Dutch Oven Vegetarian Chili and CornbreadPhoto by: Fresh off the Grid

Cookware

When camping, you always want to limit the amount of things you need to bring with you. When you are packing your cooking items, consider limiting yourself to multi-use items that can be used to cook in a number of different ways.

If you are camping in a car, trailer, or will not have to transport your gear far by foot:
Instead of one or several small- to medium-sized pans, consider bringing a wide, flat griddle or cast iron skillet that you can cook multiple items on at once (Being able to cook eggs, bacon, and pancakes at the same time will speed up your breakfast cook time!). A griddle will also likely pack much easier than a pan or two, which are rounded and have handles that stick out.l Dutch ovens are another great option. They can be used as both a pot for stews, soups, chili, etc. as well as enclosed ovens for baking meals over a fire. Dutch ovens can also be used over propane stoves if open fires are not allowed within your campground. And if you want to limit clean up efforts, dutch ovens can also be fitted with disposable liners (parchment paper or aluminum foil). Just be sure to take all your trash with you!

If you are camping in a tent:
If you will be traveling on foot, you won’t be able to carry heavy dutch ovens or cast iron skillet with you. Instead, pack a small, lightweight aluminum or titanium pot and pan. Your pot can double as a cup and your pan can also be used as a plate to cut down on what you need to fill your pack with. You’ll also want to bring aluminum foil. Not only does it not take up much room, but you can use it to wrap root vegetables like potatoes or carrots and even meat and fish, then throw them into the coals of your fire to cook without having to worry about getting a mouthful of ash when it’s time to eat.

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza NachosPhoto by: twopeasandtheirpod

Food

Before your trip, fill plastic squeezable bottles (you can reuse emptied and cleaned ketchup bottles) with pre-mixed pancake batter, soup broth, homemade BBQ sauce, and other ingredients you’ll want quick and easy access to. This can also help limit the number of utensils you’ll need to bring with you.

If you are camping in a car, trailer, or will not have to transport your gear far by foot:
You will basically have access to a full kitchen, so the sky’s the limit! You can decide on several meals before your trip, anything from pizza and pasta, burgers and ribs, to jambalaya and chicken noodle soup.

If you are camping in a tent:
You’ll want to pack high protein, higher calorie food options that don’t take up much room if you need to carry everything with you. Snack options like trail mix (with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate if you have a sweet tooth) or beef jerky are classic choices. You can also visit specialty outdoor retailers to purchase freeze dried or dehydrated meals that will limit their size and weight but can still provide you with tasty meal options.

Backpacker’s Blueberry CrispPhoto by: Fresh off the Grid

Fire

Nothing beats cooking over an open fire, but if you are unable to or prefer the control of having a stove, you have options too.

Cooking on a campfire:
A campfire may not offer you the temperature control of a stove, but nothing tastes quite as good as something cooked over hot coals! If you plan on cooking over a fire, it is a good idea to bring your own firewood in case existing log piles have gotten wet or rotten. Many campgrounds also have strict rules against collecting firewood, so this will help you bypass that completely.

Cooking on a portable stove:
If you are camping in damp, wet climate or are having trouble starting a fire due to rain or other environmental issues, having a backup camping stove will save you a lot of stress. They are not only reliable, but are often designed to be lightweight and pack away easily. Depending on how you will be camping, you can select a classic two-burner propane stove or a single burner stove that uses small canisters to provide a flame.

Recipes

  1. Camping Breakfast Sandwich
  2. Cast Iron Skillet Pizza Nachos
  3. Dutch Oven Vegetarian Chili and Cornbread
  4. Lemon Dill Salmon Packets
  5. Backpacker’s Blueberry Crisp
  6. 3 Easy Campsite Cocktails

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Father’s Day

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father’s day, which falls on June 17th this year, is the perfect opportunity to show Dad how much he means to you. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas; perfect for helping dads everywhere enjoy their summer to the fullest!

  1. Pit Barrel Meat Smoker | Pit Barrel Cooker Co. | $299.00
  2. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist | Amazon | $10.42
  3. Riddim BT Speaker | House of Marley | $129.99
  4. Stainless-Steel Handled 4-Piece BBQ Tool Set with Case | William Sonoma | $79.96
  5. Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit | Bitters & Bottles | $60.50
  6. CampStove 2 | BioLite | $129.95

 

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Last Minute Father's Day IdeasWith less than 24hrs till Father’s Day, it’s time to get serious about gifting. Rather than rush out to the nearest department store to find a last minute “Best Dad Ever” mug, why not treat Dad to something a bit more meaningful, like quality time. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to spend time with Dad.

  1. Volunteer.
    What better way to make a connection with Dad while contributing to your community. Dad will be pretty pleased to spending some quality time together while volunteering for places like Habitat for Humanity, your local food bank, animal shelter or just hit up your local park/beach and pick up litter (my dad is notorious for doing this every time he goes to the beach).
    Concert Lights Fox Theater Oakland
  2. Music Appreciation.
    You may not have the same taste when it comes to music, but help your pops relive his youth by treating him to a concert featuring one of his favorite bands (or even a comedy show). Check out some of the concerts coming to the San Francisco Bay Area venues like Shoreline,Yoshi’s in Jack London Square, The Fillmore, Greek Theater or find last minute entertainment options at Gold Star/Travel Zoo.
    Family Biking Angel Island San Francisco
  3. On the Road.
    Hit the road, whether it’s skating, biking to a mini road trip. Bonus points for choosing something he taught you how to do (my dad taught me to ride a bike and drive a car, we both made it through, mostly unscathed). Pack a picnic, find a diner with Dad’s favorite food or his favorite brewery and head on an adventure.
  4. The Great Outdoors.
    Take Dad out for some outdoor fun, whether it’s a hike, beach day or bocce at the park. The down time will give you the chance to talk and connect on a deeper level plus you’ll get to enjoy a little pre-summer sunshine.
    Olivier Butcher Meat Case
  5. Grill Master.
    Make dinner with Dad. Choose his favorite dish or recipe and bond over some serious grilling and chopping. He’ll appreciate how thoughtful you are and you’ll get to enjoy a fantastic meal together. Get recipe inspiration at our Savory and Boozy Pinterest boards.