Holiday Brooches, Party Punch & An Easy Weeknight Soup

Today on Weekend Meanderings all things holiday from brooches to party punch, and a veggie beef farro soup recipe that’s delicious, nutritious and easy to make during this busy time of year.

Welcome friends!

It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for our weekend roundup.

All manner of inspiration and goings on.

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Bright pink Christmas cactus and mug of cocoa on table top.

It’s on.

The holidays I mean.

Do I need to say it?

Don’t let over-the-top expectations (your own),

to do lists and Instagram posts

make you frantic, stressed or feeling like you’re not keeping up.

Family room swivel chair with brown throw blanket and holiday pillow.

Holiday Bow Pillow Cover

No one lives like an Instagram post.

No one.

Lower (your) expectations, keep it simple and do what you want to do and realistically can.

It’s enough.

That said, let’s talk the holidays.


Earlier in the week I met up with Kim and Elizabeth to share our love of holiday bling in the form of pins and brooches.

Holiday Brooch Pin collage.

Kim shared all kinds of fun ways to wear brooches and pins during the holiday season. And Elizabeth showed us 15 creative ways to wear brooches … so clever.

Spot light on Fleurette 1949 ~

By the way, I got as many questions and comments about my winter coats as I did about wearing brooches. So let’s discuss.

Both coats are by Fleurette and many years old. If you’re not familiar Fleurette is a 70+ year old Los Angeles based brand. Their hand-finished coats are made with Loro Piana wool and cashmere. Fancy. They’re on the pricier side. But as I said, mine are many years old and will probably last forever so I’d say they’re a good investment. Searching resale sites like The Real Real, Poshmark, eBay may turn up some great deals.

A few Fleurette styles at Nordstrom ~



The arrival of Gump’s holiday catalog signals the beginning of the holiday season for me. Are you familiar with Gumps? The 160 year old San Francisco department store is truly an institution for San Franciscan’s and everyone around the Bay. And Christmas is Gumps time to shine. My mom loved Gumps, especially their holiday catalog, so when it lands in my mailbox I know it’s officially the holiday season. Known for their beautiful homewares, jewelry, gifting options and, of course, stunning holiday decor looking through the catalog and website is like getting swept into an old, glamourous Hollywood movie. Of course I want everything single thing. Take a stroll through Gumps website and get ready to swoon.

Gumps Holiday Catalogs 2023.

Gumps is traditional, inspirational and aspirational and makes me think of my mom who loved Christmas and pouring over the Gumps holiday catalog. Occasionally we made the December trek to the San Francisco store to see the decorations and be lookieloos. We had to be properly dressed and on our best behavior. Maybe Jim and I will pay a visit this year.

Gump's Department store in San Francisco.


NO. 10 CAT

These photos of Larry the Cat, the British Cabinet’s Chief Mouser, showing off 10 Downing Streets holiday decor made me smile. I love animal content. And Larry’s Twitter – or whatever we’re calling it now – @Number10cat is a bright spot in the platforms cesspool of horror. Photojournalist Justin Ng doggedly covers Larry’s comings and goings and shares cute videos of protection service officers knocking on the door to notify Cabinet staff when Larry is ready to come inside. As it appears he does in this photo.

Larry the Cat alongside a holiday wreath on the door of 10 Downing Street.

Image @imageplotter

Larry, a 15-year old tabby, likes to remind his audience that he’s been in office longer than any of the previous five Prime Ministers who serve him.

Larry the Cat alongside the Christmas tree outside 10 Downing Street.

Image @PoliticalPics


Having a pot of soup on the stove is always a good idea. Never more so than this time of year, when it’s cold, we’re rushed and in need of a comforting meal. I could eat soup for lunch and dinner everyday. The addition of a salad and roll or chunk of bread makes it a meal. Fortunately for me Jim feels the same way. I like to make a big pot of soup on Sunday’s then portion it out to keep in the fridge or freezer so we always have an easy meal option on a busy day.

By the way, you can find my super cozy lounge set here.

I love farro and a couple of weeks ago I googled ‘veggie beef soup with farro’ and came up with this recipe. It’s delicious. It calls for braising the beef which isn’t something I’ve done before, and does take additional time, but makes a huge difference in the tenderness of the beef. Sorry the photo isn’t great, the soup was piping hot with steam rising.

Overhead shot of two bowls of vegetable beef soup.



My Cranberry Tequila Punch post from a few of years ago is trending and that can only mean one thing. Holiday parties! If you’re looking for a fun, festive batch cocktail they’re just the thing.

Speaking of cocktails, we enjoyed some holiday cheer last night tasting through the holiday cocktail collection with my Bartesian Cocktail Machine. Fa la la la la!


Odds & Socks ~

Last week I shared a roundup of utility jackets but neglected to include this great option from Alex Mill.

And this week I ordered my first pair of Birdies. So many women I know swear by them. I plan to wear them to a couple of holiday parties, I’m so over heels, and decided to go with this shimmery pair.

Current Favorites ~


And that’s what I have for you this week.

Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …



If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.

And if you’re still shopping for holiday gifts I have a few ideas.

I always love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

Woman standing on beach under pier.

Cheers from  Snowberry!

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  • Good morning Juliet,
    Such a cozy welcoming post this morning.
    Thank you for the reminder about the holidays. INSTAGRAM is not reality, behind every square is real life and that can sometimes be stressful, messy and sad.

    On that note, I was reading an Instagram Christmas post and in the comments was a remark from a very successful blogger/instagramer that said “I just spent an insane amount of money on Christmas decor and clothing that I do not need or want simply to create content.” Please people, do not do that.

    You look cozy, comfortable and beautiful in your outfit. It looks like a great lounging outfit for relaxing at home.

    I have printed the soup recipe. I love soup! But I have never made farro soup, I will have to remedy that soon. On Sunday I roast pans of vegetables, make a pot of soup and bake something. The veggies we eat during the week or I blend into a soup in my vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, any blender will do.
    Gumps is a place that I have heard of but never visited. It sounds enchanting. The catalog sound similar to the Neiman Marcus wish book, remember that? The over the top gifts were just that.
    Larry the No. 10 cat is adorable! I am going to follow!
    I cannot wait to try this cocktails, another thing you and I have in common. Cocktails and cocoa.
    Love your beautiful coats. A beautiful investment piece of clothing will last forever!
    Have a wonderful weekend Juliet.

  • Hi Juliet, I’m a Gump’s lover/catalog receiver, too! Their holiday windows were always a highlight of a San Francisco visit during the holidays. My mom sold her paintings there in the 90’s: hard to believe that Gump’s actually sold original artwork then (ie, not prints). I love Larry the Cat, and did not know about him — I hope they treat him like a King @ 10 Downing Street: he has an important job to do! We are soup people, too. I loved Andersen’s pea soup as a child: my mom would slice hot dogs in it for weekend lunch (so 70’s). When we returned to CA (my home state) in the early 2000’s, we’d make the annual holiday trip from SoCal to Palo Alto through the Valley and my goal was to hit the northern Andersen’s for a lunch stop each time!I picked up a bag of their split peas and recipe long ago and have used it since. Your cranberry tequila punch looks great: I will give it a try!

  • Oh I so remember the Gump days and still love getting their catalog. Thanks for bringing those memories back. I always enjoy your beautiful posts. And I am so impressed with the cocktails you hae been making with your barista machine.

    • Wendy, the Bartesian cocktail maker is so fun and I’m loving hearing from friends who bought it too. My step-daughter says she’s now has the most popular house in her neighborhood! xo

  • I hope you’re feeling better. I loved your holiday inspiration about lowering your expectations, do what you can and keep it simple. I need to copy that and use it as my mantra this holiday season. Thank you. Printed both the Veggie Beef Soup with Farro recipe and the Cranberry Tequila Punch recipe. Running to the store in a bit, and will try the soup tomorrow. Thanks for all the lovely photos, and the link to Gumps. I need to take a log look at that.

  • Hi again, Juliet! I just went to your holiday 2020 (pandemic) post with your punch recipe: how funny that you discussed punch bowls and acquiring one in the following year. I did not read that blog post when it came out, but I definitely felt the need to purchase a magnificent punch bowl at that time! in early 2021, I shopped ’til I dropped (online) to find the “perfect” one, a very large faceted and footed behemoth (Etsy?) + a wonderful pewter ladle (eBay), and happily put them to work for Holidays 2021 when we had a party (only 65% of invitees came) but no one became ill after and it was great fun!I wish I’d had your cranberry-apple-Cointreau-Prosecco recipe then, but for next time, at least!

  • Juliet, Your soup looks delicious. I am a soup person and so is Max. We just did potato leek yesterday and like you, I love having it all week after.. Thank you for sharing our pins. I just love them on your pretty coats. I bet the Loro Piano wool is lovely.
    I did not know about Larry! What a cutie.
    Gumps is a must when we do SF trips at Christmas. I am sad they moved from their flagship store. The windows were always a dream and my kids loved it too. I still like to get a gift or two there as they wrap them so beautifully. I hope they survive. I just unpacked a little stuffed reindeer from one of those Gump’s trips. He sits on our entry bench at Christmas. My dream job would be a Gump’s buyer for the old store!
    Hope you have a beautiful weekend

    • Soup … it’s really all the food we need, right?! Being a buyer at Gumps really would be a dream job … how do we apply?! xo

  • I sure enjoyed this holiday packed blog treat! I drooled over the Gump catalog….so many gorgeous pretties! You look so comfy in that cute lounging set. Speaking of brooches…I just watched a really cute holiday movie, “Feast of the Seven Fishes..”. It takes place in the early 80’s, and in one scene a mother is wearing a cute holiday brooch on her white sweater twinset. Quite nostalgic! Now I’m going over to Instagram and watch that adorable mouser, Larry. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Things are feeling very cozy at Snowberry! I have five pairs of Birdies. The shop on Union st was right next to Perry’s where Howard liked to watch sports. A couple of times he picked up a pair of shoes for me on the way home. One of the things I miss about SF!

    • Those were the days, right?! Well, I’m happy to have my first pair on the way and look forward to being comfortable standing at Christmas parties this year! xo

  • Hi Juliet! Loving all your sparkly brooches. And your cozy lounge set! And those Birdies! I might have to indulge myself a bit… I remember the Gumps catalogue — so full of class. And Larry the cat is too funny. So he just stays there, no matter who the Prime Minister is? What a great tradition! Have a great week! Happy December!

    • Hi Molly! I believe Larry the Cat was adopted from the Battersea Animal Shelter and Larry stays in residence as Prime Ministers come and go. He is in and out the front door all the time and it’s hilarious to see the security knock on the door, and someone inside opens it and Larry goes in … or out. This is the kind of content I need. I hope you try the Birdies … everyone raves about them and I’ve decided to be comfortable at Christmas parties this year! xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Yes, I’m familiar with Gumps. When I used to live in SF I would enjoy going into the store. They always had unique and beautiful things. A back story, my girlfriend’s sister-in-law was the buyer at the time for Gumps. It was a big position.
    The catalogue was special like the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue.
    Is the gorgeous plant a Christmas Cactus?
    Your brooches look beautiful on your gorgeous coats.

    • Oh wow, Katherine, what an amazing job your friend had. Yes, Gumps always has the most beautiful and unique items and it is very much like Neiman Marcus Christmas delights! xo

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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