calling all procrastinators.

last minute gift ideas -- that will still ship in time for Christmas!

Last year, {jv} made his appearance less than three weeks before Christmas. If I was a normal person, I would have done my holiday shopping before he was born... but then again, we had just moved in our new house. (In other words, I was not a normal person last Christmas season!) This year, I have made good progress on my list, but working full-time and chasing a toddler around have made the process a bit more chaotic.

Since I still have a few people on my gift list, I decided to round up a few of my favorite gift ideas and notoriously quick retailers. I also included any promotions they may be running and what the last day for shipping is. Sometimes, if I give myself a deadline, it helps ;) If you've procrastinated a bit like me, never fear -- there are still plenty of amazing options to make the folks on your gift list very happy. I hope these ideas give you the boost you need to get everything wrapped up (literally and figuratively!). xoxo {av}

Birchbox: Gift Subscriptions ship straight to recipients, beginning in January
Design Darling: Last day for ground shipping: Wednesday, December 16th; Free shipping on orders over $200
Follain: Last chance for guaranteed Christmas delivery with express shipping: Sunday, December 20th
Framebridge: $39 Instagram framed Instagram prints; Last chance for guaranteed Christmas delivery: Tuesday, December 15th
Gap: 40% off your purchase through Tuesday, December 15th with code: COZY; Last chance for guaranteed Christmas delivery: Monday, December 21st (free shipping over $50)
J.Crew: 40% off select items; 30% off your whole purchase through Tuesday, December 15th with code: GETGIFTS; Last day for free ground shipping: Monday, December 21st
lululemon: Last day for free standard shipping for most: Saturday, December 19th (some can get away with Tuesday, December 22nd -- see here for more details)
Madewell: 25% off through Thursday, December 24th with code: YOUGOTTHIS; Last day for free ground shipping: Monday, December 21st
Minted: 15% off art gifts and stationery through Wednesday, December 16th with code: GIFTS2015; Last chance for guaranteed Christmas delivery: Friday, December 18th (see more details here)
Nordstrom: Last day for free standard shipping on qualifying merchandise: Wednesday, December 23rd (order by 12:00pm EST)
Sephora: Last day for standard shipping on most merchandise: Monday, December 21st  -- fragrances must be ordered by Wednesday, December 16th (click here for all the shipping details)
Shopbop: Extra 25% off on sale items through Thursday, December 17th with code: BONUS25; Last day for free shipping Sunday, December 20th to ensure Christmas delivery + Amazon Prime Customers get free two-day shipping
Splendid: 25% off through Tuesday, December 15th with code: GIVING; Last day for free guaranteed ground shipping: Thursday, December 17th.
Zappos: Last day for free two-day shipping: Tuesday, December 22nd (see all the details here)

Image HTML map generator

how to make a holiday cheese board.

how to make a holiday cheese board. #sidinthekitchenholiday

Hello, friends! Remember me? I know it's been a few weeks, but I'll blame it on the craziness of the holidays. We also celebrated {jv}'s first birthday a couple weeks early, so I was nose deep in primary colored balloons and decor for most of November. Speaking of entertaining, I'm so excited to be back to share a little collaboration I did recently with Sid Wainer & Son® in the spirit of the holidays!

Based less than twenty minutes from our home in Rhode Island, Sid Wainer & Son® is a top-notch local supplier of specialty food, cheese, and produce. (I legitimately see their trucks outside all of my favorite local restaurants!) Since 1914, they have worked with the best New England farmers to create a unique and diverse line of products. They also ship many of their tasty goodies nationwide, so thankfully, you're only a few clicks away from having these delicious treats on your table. Read on for a few tips I pulled together on making your own holiday cheese board!

how to make a holiday cheese board. #sidinthekitchenholiday

Cheeses from left to right: Kilchurn Estate® Mustard and Ale Cheddar Cheese, Kilchurn Estate® Sage Derby Cheese + Kilchurn Estate® Krystal Pure Cave Aged Cheddar Cheese // Meats from left to right: Jansal Valley® Spicy Sopressata + Jansal Valley® Cacciatorino Salami // Extras: Jansal Valley® Dried Black Mission Figs, Jansal Valley® Huckleberry Spreadable Fruit + Jansal Valley® Cranberry Honey

how to make a holiday cheese board. #sidinthekitchenholiday
how to make a holiday cheese board. #sidinthekitchenholiday

There are many schools of thought about what makes a good cheese board. A curated mix of flavors and textures is crucial to concocting a crowd-pleasing display for your next party. When Sid Wainer & Son® sent over these treats, it took everything I had not to eat it all before I took the photos. In no particular order, here are a few thoughts that were swirling around in my head on the topic...
  • Some people simply place a block or wheel of cheese on their cheese boards. If the cheese board you're making is for a small group of people (who are familiar with one another), I think that is perfectly appropriate. However, if you're creating a cheese board for a larger crowd, cutting the pieces in advance can make a big difference. There is less pressure on your guests to cut perfect slices. More people can also cycle quickly through the cheese board.  
  • Make it your goal to include a diverse set of flavors that work in concert. I loved that the folks at Sid Wainer & Son® included cheeses with different flavor profiles. You want to make sure you have something for everyone. (Speaking of which, check with your guests to accommodate any food allergies or situations -- your pregnant friends can't have some common cheese board accouterments and neither can your friends who adhere to a gluten-free diet. You can easily make some substitutions to fit everyone's needs.)
  • If your cheese board can't accommodate all of your treats, pull out a few small bowls which can swoop in and save the day. Along with a few sliced figs, I placed crackers and almonds in other bowls to keep it all organized. 
  • Even though winter is almost here, my rosemary plant is still thriving. I cut a few sprigs to use as a garnish in those small bowls and on the cheese board itself. If you don't have your own plant, you can easily snag them at your local grocery store -- or a large bundle from Sid Wainer & Son® here. Not only are they wonderfully fragrant, these sprigs add a pretty pop of green to your cheese board. (Fun fact: I love rosemary so much that I asked to include it in my wedding bouquet. It is a symbol of remembrance. My grandmother's name was also Rosemarie, so it has extra significance for me.)
  • I placed the Jansal Valley® Dried Black Mission Figs, Jansal Valley® Huckleberry Spreadable Fruit + Jansal Valley® Cranberry Honey on a separate cheese board to keep the mess at a minimum. As your guests are assembling their bites, they can add a fruity finish without disrupting the flow of others around the cheese board.
how to make a holiday cheese board. #sidinthekitchenholiday
how to make a holiday cheese board. #sidinthekitchenholiday

While my tips aren't necessarily groundbreaking, I hope they give you a few new ideas for the next time you pull together a cheese board. Thanks again to Sid Wainer & Son for spoiling me with these delicious goodies. Now that I know they ship nationally, I know a way to make someone's day this holiday season. I mean... who wouldn't love a care package full of cheese? xoxo {av}

Image HTML map generator

This post was sponsored by Sid Wainer & Son®. I was provided with the products shown above, in exchange for sharing this post with my readers. All opinions are my own -- and I carefully curate which brands appear on {long distance loving}.