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it's time to deck the halls!

It doesn't take much to prompt me to begin my holiday decorations. This year, a mix of not really feeling Halloween--oh wait, that's every year--and Hurricane Ana prompted me to deck my halls slightly earlier than usual. Our main tree isn't up yet, but several of the smaller ones around the house are and my holiday tablescape is coming along quite nicely.

You know when you come across something that you know will work perfectly with your holiday decor, yet transition nicely into your home to become completely functional once the holidays are over? I love those items!

 I definitely had a moment when I stumbled across UASHMAMA from ella + issa co.  I originally saw their paper bag products on Instagram and knew that one tiny photo was not going to do it for me, so I checked out their website.

It was right then and there that I fell in love. The quality mixed with the versatility is a match made in heaven in my mind and I couldn't be more excited for the paper bags gracing my table this year. Soon to be filled with glass gold balls (if our Target would ever bring them back into stock!) they are going to make a picturesque, yet fully functional tablescape.

Nothin' worse than eating dinner & realizing you don't have enough room, only to have to move Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the Angel and alllll the animals--ya feel me?
While I'm using my bags as decor, their function is only limited by the amount of household items you have. Read: USE THEM EVERYWHERE, FRIENDS! When the holidays are over, I plan to roll up the sides of our tan bag as an unread mail bin in our entryway, use the red bag for Judy's training treats and the metallic silver bag (my fave!) in our guest bath to hold guest toiletries. Honestly, the possibilities are endless thanks to the way these bags are built.
UASHMAMA paper bags come in all shapes and sizes and are durable, moldable, foldable, washable, and functional. What could be better?
The paper bags are soft but resilient -- they can be washed like fabric, ironed and flattened completely for storage purposes. They can be rolled up or down to various heights depending on what you're using them for, and they are such a beautiful way to organize anything and everything in your home.


Made in Italy and travelled to North America!

UASHMAMA® (pronounced wash-mama) is a collection of washable paper products that feel like leather and wash like fabric, holding their form so they can be used over and over again - promoting sustainability. Originally designed as bread bags, UASHMAMA products are great for storage, home d├ęcor and design, and a variety of lifestyle purposes.

UASHMAMA washable paper is made using traditional artisan methods from cultivated and sustainable cellulose fibre. The manufacturing process is similar to leather where the paper is stretched and tanned making it durable to withstand washing and daily use.  The collection now includes a range of paper bags, handbags, carry bags, aprons and other accessories!

Italian? Versatile? Beautiful? Stylish? WHERE THE HECK DO I SIGN UP TO BUY STOCK HERE?! People, this is like my dream come true! Thankfully, the beautiful people at ella + issa co. have graciously offered one CommuniKait reader a medium sized metallic silver bag (like the one shown in the photos!) of their very own to use and style in their own home. happy entering :)

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the secret to gluten free cooking + gluten free pasta [recipe]

When I posted last week on Instagram that I was creating gluten free ravioli in my kitchen, so many people commented asking for the recipe! I hate to break it to you guys, but it was SO EASY. My secret weapon for any gluten free recipe is Cup4Cup flour. As the name implies, it is (very literally) a cup for cup equal balance to normal flour. That's it. That's my secret! I purchase it at Williams-Sonoma, along with several of their other mixes (their pizza crust is DIVINE!) Any questions? Just ask!

Okay, so moving right along...

You Will Need:
2 cups Cup4Cup
(please note: if you do not use Cup4Cup, regular gluten free flour will not work. You will need to use a combination flour that includes xantham gum, among other ingredients. Truthfully, it gets very complicated. Just buy the Cup4Cup.)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Clean off a flat working surface (I use my countertop!) and create a mound with your flour.

Your mound should look like this! Photo was not taken in my own kitchen, rather in culinary school last fall and the very first time I ever made pasta!
2. Hollow down the center of your mound and crack open your eggs. Add salt and olive oil.
3. Gradually begin mixing in the flour from the sides and your dough will begin to take shape.
4. Keep working the dough until it reaches peak consistency--you will know! If it's too sticky, add flour. Too dry? Add water.

The key with Italian cooking is making simple meals with fresh ingredients to maximize flavor. Nothing is complicated!

5. When you've finished kneading dough to elastic consistency, cover in plastic wrap and let rise for about 20 minutes. It's very important to keep it at room temperature if you plan on eating it that day. Dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, just make sure to bring it back down to room temp before trying to work with it!

From here, it's your call! The easiest (and most trusted) way to continue is to incorporate a pasta machine. I'm partial to the countertop clamp as the KitchenAid attachment always seems to jam and is a huge pain in the rear to clean, but it's your preference!

In the above photo, ravioli was made by running pasta through the machine to create a continuous piece of flat dough. I created a template size for ravioli and cut each square to match, mixed up my ravioli filling and enjoyed my dinner :)

As I said before, if you have questions--feel free to ask!

daydreaming of cool weather

It goes as no surprise to anyone who has talked to me in the last few weeks--I'm over the warm weather of Hawaii. I crave seasons and as much as I love summer, I'm done with it after 4 months. I love welcoming fall and even winter--I guess you can say I'm a true Pennsylvania girl!

When Joules contacted me to take a look at their winter coat line, I couldn't stop myself! I have blogged about their clothes before here, but I don't have to be asked twice to take a gander. Since moving to Hawaii, online shopping has DEFINITELY gotten the best of me.

This year, quilted parkas, vests and coats seem to be the most popular and Joules certainly did not miss the memo. Joules' coat collection comes in beautiful shades of navy, red and brown with hints of tweed, plaid and floral prints. Honestly, what could be better? I'm having serious coat envy...
Marine Navy Holthorpe Padded Jacket

One of my favorite aspects of their fall collection is the array of blazers. Raise your hand if you think a good blazer can totally transform an outfit. ::raises hand::

I'm lusting over these two beauties and just as soon as I'm in a climate that dips below 60 degrees, you can bet your buns I'll have them!


To all my coat and blazer loving ladies--what Joules item would you select?