How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving

Let’s face it – the holiday season is stressful. We’re embarking on a month of non-stop holiday adventures and family gatherings, and the last thing we want on our plate (other than a tenth scoop of mashed potatoes) is another party to plan, right? Still, in a time when we have the MOST to do, it’s nice to sit down and relax, preferably with friends who totally get what you’re feeling. That’s why we’re huge fans of Thanksgiving’s BFF, Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is great because there’s no pressure to make every detail perfect – you can play with your decor & food and still throw a beautiful gathering for your closest pals (who, honestly, are like a second family).

In the spirit of giving thanks for all of the people who we can spill our deepest, darkest secrets to & who make us laugh uncontrollably, we’re showing you how to host an easy Friendsgiving dinner. Preparation for this get together doesn’t need to be difficult; a few DIY decorations really set the mood. Send out invites to your friends (we recommend a potluck dinner to keep things as simple as possible) & get the party started. Check out our Friendsgiving Guide below for our favorite tips, tricks & an easy dessert recipe to complete your Friendsgiving menu.

Set The Table

  • For a quick & festive tablecloth you already have on-hand, drape large blanket scarves over the table. Any spills can be removed in the wash! We like this one: Plaid Blanket Scarf.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix & match dishes. Check out your nearest thrift store to find pieces that are mismatched but still work together. Stick to a similar color family.
  • Cut brown paper down for DIY placemats for a no-hassle cleanup & a rustic feel. You can even use brown paper bags!

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Remember Why You’re Gathering

  • Yes, one of Friendsgiving’s main pros is the amazing food & drink spread, but take a minute to remember the real reason you’re hanging out around the table. On each placemat, prompt guests to write down what they’re thankful for & talk about it before digging in.

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Pumpkin Serving Bowl

  • Find a huge pumpkin and a bowl that is just a bit smaller in size.
  • Cut the top off the pumpkin & scoop out the insides.
  • Place the large bowl inside the pumpkin to serve drinks, mocktails & more.

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Gourd-geous Votive Candles

  1. Choose different sizes and colors of gourds or small pumpkins.
  2. Using a pumpkin carving knife, cut small circles out of the tops of each.
  3. Scoop out the insides.
  4. Put votive candles of varying sizes in each pumpkin.

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Simple Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkin “Pie”

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 package marshmallows (10.5 oz)
  • 1 box Rice Krispie cereal (18 oz), with 2 c set aside
  • 1/2 c pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the better.
  2. Add marshmallows and melt, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the marshmallow mixture is melted, combine 2/3 c of marshmallow with 2 c cereal and mix together.
  4. Add 1/2 c pumpkin & pumpkin spice to remaining marshmallow mixture in the pan and combine.
  5. Press the cereal/marshamallow mixture around the outside of a springform pan to create the “crust”.
  6. Remove the pumpkin/marshmallow mixture from heat and, after a few moments, mix in the rest of the cereal in the box.
  7. Press pumpkin/marshmallow/cereal mixture into the center of the “pie”.
  8. Cover & let cool completely before cutting.

Do you have any tips for throwing a Friendsgiving party? Let us know in the comments & show us how you’re celebrating on Instagram.

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Lolla25: #AEOFESTIVALSTYLE Guide for Girls & Guys

We’re heading in to the high point of summer, and live music season is still giving you plenty of opportunity to rep your #AEOFESTIVALSTYLE wherever you go. We’ll keep you cool at Lollapalooza in the hottest new festival looks featuring hi-rise shorties & knit tanks so you’ll never miss a beat. Check out our Chicago travel guide & Lollapalooza outfits for guys and girls so you can make fun summer memories to savor all year long!

WEAR
GIRLS: 
Right now, we’re all about dark denim. Pair this first essentials strappy top with black denim festival shorties for a look that keeps it simple & makes a statement.  Leather booties will keep you festival-ready, day & night. Throw even more shade by adding the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Get your festival fashion ready for Lollapalooza.

SHOP IT: First Essentials Cold Shoulder Shirt | Hi-Rise Festival Shortie | Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn Kaden Bootie
Lapis-Colored Cocktail Ring | Evil Eye Arm Party Bracelets | Spitfire Astro Sunglasses

GUYS: There’s nothing plain about this classic pairing! Throw a cool, printed graphic tee on top of some cut-off denim shorts for a look that lasts. Add a finishing touch while keeping it clean with fresh, white slip-on’s – these sneakers are sure to be a fan favorite.

Get your festival fashion ready for Lollapalooza. Check out our guys' Lollapalooza outfits.

SHOP IT: Indigo Trend Graphic Crew T-Shirt | Core Flex Denim Cutoff Short | Faux Leather Shoe

EAT
The Gage: If you’re looking for a rustic place to refuel with a good meal & a cold drink, The Gage is your place. This Irish restaurant has a long list on tap and is within easy walking distance of Grant Park.

Toni Patisserie & Café: You can’t skip out on the most important meal of the day. Don’t stop exploring, pick up a French-style sweet treat or morning bite to eat on the go.

Giordano’s: What’s better than Chicago deep dish? Nothing. Try the best of the best at Giordano’s to keep you full & festival ready.

Check out Giordano's pizza for a bite to eat in between Lollapalooza sets.

Photo: @giordanospizza

MUSIC
Radiohead:
The beloved & groundbreaking alternative rock band from England has been a crowd favorite since 1985. You won’t want to miss their appearance at Lolla where they’re sure to wow with classics like “Creep” and “Fake Plastic Trees”.

Leon Bridges: The R&B you NEED. The singer & songwriter from Texas got his start in 2015 with the release of song “Coming Home”.  His performance is sure to provide your daily dose of 50’s & 60’s soul, a sound that never goes out of style. We recommend “River” and “Better Man”.

Leon Bridges is sure to be a fan favorite at Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL.

Photo: @leonbridgesofficial

Silversun Pickups: This Los Angeles bred indie rock band formed combines the influence of The Flaming Lips and Sonic Youth for their catchy, dream pop roots. If you’re not familiar with their sound, check them out NOW starting with “Bloody Mary” and “All The Go Inbetweens”.

Don't miss Silversun Pickups at Lolla25.

Photo: @sspu

LCD Soundsystem: If you haven’t yet heard of this unique electronic rock group Led by James Murphy, we need to change that. The group has done nothing but amaze us since they formed in Brooklyn in 2002. Once you’re hooked on their fusion of dance-punk & electronica, you won’t be able to stop listening. Our faves are “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” and “I Can Change”.

Mac Miller: Now, that’s a rap. Pittsburgh born and raised Malcom James McCormick, known to fans as Mac Miller, rose to fame with the release of his debut studio album “Blue Slide Park”. His smooth rhymes will make you wonder how he makes spitting verses seem so effortless. Listen to “100 Grandkids” and “Another Night” to hear the best Mac has to offer.

Mac Miller will take the stage at Lolla25.

Photo: @larryfisherman

What are you most excited to do in Chicago? Which artists will you be checking out at Grant Park? Let us know in the comments below & show us your #AEOFESTIVALSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter.

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Pineapple Mint Fauxjito

Our good friend Erin, the blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back with her final recipe for our summer countdown series. If you missed her other posts, you can find them here, here and here. Cool down this weekend and celebrate the summer solstice with a sweet drink! Keep reading for Erin’s recipe. 

Enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this classic drink! This Pineapple Mint Fauxjito tastes like a fruity and refreshing mojito minus the morning hangover. It’s sweet, refreshing and ready in just 5 minutes!

 

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

So, instead of a mojito, today we’ll be enjoying a pineapple mint FAUX-jito. Get it?! I thought I was beyond clever when I “created” that word but, as it turns out, the fauxjito is real. Which is a good thing, because the flavors of a mojito deserved to be enjoyed with or without alcohol.

My cocktail of choice is a mojito. In one word, they are REFRESHING. In more than one word, they are refreshing and come in a variety of flavors and I’m fairly certain you can’t mess them up.

You definitely can’t mess these fauxjitos up – they’re that easy! They’re five ingredients and they come together in approximately 5 minutes, maybe 10 if your pineapple isn’t already cut. THAT’S IT. You’ve got your pineapple (duh), your club soda (necessary), your mint leaves (refreshing!), your lime juice (yes please!), and your…wait for it…coconut milk (YES I’M SERIOUS).

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

For whatever reason, I’ve been into adding coconut milk to cocktails recently, specifically coconut milk. Coconut milk plus any fruit equals tropical to me, and tropical equals fruity alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages. Yes, it’s true. Coconut and pineapple may be the most common combination, and that’s because they go perfectly together. A match made in heaven, if you will.

So whether you’re sitting poolside with your BFFs your on your couch watching Friends reruns (no judgment here), I hope you find an excuse to sip on a pineapple mint fauxjito. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pineapple, muddled
  • 2 cups pineapple juice (1 cup fresh pineapple+1 cup water, mixed in a blender)
  • ½ cup club soda
  • 10 mint leaves
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Place cubed coconut in a bowl and use a muddler (or a fork) to smash it down; divide evenly between two glasses.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir pineapple juice, soda, mint, milk, and lime juice together really well; pour overtop of muddled pineapple, dividing evenly.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Share your fauxjito pics on Twitter & Instagram using #AEOSTYLE! We’d love to see how you’re celebrating summer.

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Summer 2016 Beach Reads

Our motto for hanging out at the beach? Sun, sand and books. With more free time, summer is a great season to catch up on all of the bestsellers from the past year. Beach days are pretty much made for relaxing, and we love to do so with a book in one hand and a cold drink in the other (+ #AEOSTYLE, of course). We’ve rounded up some of our recent favorite novels – including everything from YA lit to fiction to memoirs – so that all you have to do is head to the bookstore or open up your Kindle! Check out our picks below, and let us know what you’re adding to your summer reading list.

Shop The Look:
Aerie Triangle Bikini Top
Denim X4 Hi-Rise Shortie
AEO Cat Eye Sunglasses

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyer: How could we not include this bestseller AND movie on our list? If you’ve already seen Me Before You in theaters, you know just how deep the feels are in this humorous and heart-wrenching story. The book follows Lou Clark as her life unexpectedly changes forever after becoming a caretaker for a man who lost faith in life and love. You’re going to laugh and cry – maybe at the same time – during this read!

2. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell: It wasn’t long ago that we were obsessing over Rowell’s hit novel, Eleanor & Park. Rowell has a talent for creating characters that are both unique and relatable, and the characters in this short story are no different. Truly a perfect beach read due to its shorter length, Kindred Spirits will make you just a little less alone in this world – because who isn’t a little bit quirky?

The best books to read when you lounge on the beach this summer in #AEOSTYLE.

3. The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer: At this point it’s pretty clear that Amy Schumer is all of us. Get to know 2016’s favorite comedian better in her autobiographical look at everything from her romantic adventures to embarrassing moments… then try to tell us you don’t want to be in her #squad.

4. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty: Moriarty became one of our favorite authors with her breakout bestseller Big Little Lies. This author has a gift for exposing our true selves, even when we don’t want her to. In this novel, two best friends discover just how much one small moment can change your life… for better, or worse. We can’t wait to get our hands on this book on July 26th!

The best books to read when you lounge on the beach this summer in #AEOSTYLE.

5. Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave: What would you do if everything you thought you knew about your soon-to-be husband changed in one second? In Eight Hundred Grapes, Georgia retreats to her family’s vineyard in Sonoma after her life is thrown for a loop. She only has one week to decide if she’s going to get married or not, but when she learns that her family has been keeping some secrets, the decision is tougher than ever. Bonus: there’s a rumor that Eight Hundred Grapes could become a film, so read it now!

6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: The first novel in a bestselling series of three, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children explores a hidden world right inside our own. Follow Jacob as he journeys to find the truth about his grandfather’s death and discovers something… peculiar… about himself along the way. Be sure to check out the movie trailer here, too.

What books made your beach reads list this summer? Tell us in the comments below!

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Giving Back: AEO Better World Community Day 2016

This year marks American Eagle Outfitters’ fourth annual AEO Better World Community Day. On Thursday, June 9th, more than 1,000 associates from our corporate offices in Pittsburgh, New York City, San Francisco, China, Hong Kong and Mexico volunteered their time to over 30 different community organizations worldwide. We visited everywhere from the Pittsburgh Zoo to local food kitchens to nature preserves. Check out the below images from our day of volunteer work across the world.

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IMG_362412016-06-09 16.06.20-1AEO_COMMUNITY_2016_20

Every year, we work hard to make this day of giving better and bigger, so that we can make a huge impact in helping lives and saving the planet globally. Many of our Community Day projects are grantees of the AEO Foundation. All of the organizations we volunteered with received a monetary donation from AEO as well.

Tell us how you are giving back to your community in the comments below. 

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Make Your Own French Fry Bar

Erin from The Almond Eater is back with her third recipe post to help us count down the days until summer (we’re in the single digits now!). If you missed her first two posts, Caprese Kebabs and Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles, be sure to check them out! Keep reading for her make-your-own french fry bar tips below.

A French Fry Bar is what dreams are made of! Homemade baked french fries sprinkled with salt and served with several different choices of condiments… talk about a tasty appetizer your friends can get behind!

Whenever someone asks “would you like fries with that?” there is only one appropriate answer: YES. How does one even go about ordering a sandwich without fries? How?! In fact, sometimes I just order fries. I know they’re considered a side, but sometimes they deserve to be the star of the show.

Like today.

Amp up your next get-together with a make your own French fry bar!

Though it may be more common to create a cheese plate or fruit platter when you have guests over, I guarantee they’d be much more thrilled to hang out with you if they knew there were going to be FRIES. Not that you’re not fun to hang out with, but c’mon. It’s a french fry bar for goodness sake! Fries on fries on fries with so many different condiments. You could even take it up a notch and add sweet potato fries into the mix.

I may be a bit biased, but a french fry bar is WAY better than a fruit platter, and I love fruit! Seriously, I do. But you cannot say “no” to fries.

I decided to use the following condiments in this spread: ketchup, mustard, truffle oil with parmesan cheese, garlic herb olive oil, chipotle mayo, and nacho cheese. Obviously you can include whatever you like – that’s the beauty of it! While I don’t like to play favorites, my favorite french fry condiments are probably truffle oil and chipotle mayo. In case you aren’t aware, chipotle mayo is simply mayo with a bit of sriracha. Yes, you can technically go to the store and buy “chipotle mayo,” but there’s really no need.

Amp up your next get-together with a make your own French fry bar!

Oh, and if you’ve never made your own fries, what are you waiting for? Truthfully, I should make them more often than I do. I like chopped, roasted potatoes anyway, so why not spend a few extra minutes chopping them up even smaller into french fry-sized potatoes. Because for some reason, fries>potatoes.

So cheers to summertime and friends and all the condiments. Oh yeah, and to fries! DUH.

Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Condiments of choice (ketchup, mustard, truffle oil, mayo, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Chop potatoes into thin slices; typically, the thinner they are, the crispier they’ll become.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil and then spray nonstick spray overtop.
  4. Place potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle olive oil and salt overtop; stir to coat.
  5. Place fries only baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spread out and not overlapping one another.
  6. Bake fries for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through so that they bake evenly.
  7. Remove from oven, sprinkle with more salt and serve with several choices of condiments.

Share your own take on Erin’s French Fry bar with us on Instagram & Twitter!

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