If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen my little brother graduated from high school this week (cue the tears!). He’s the baby in the family, and is lucky to have two big sisters and a mom that L-O-V-E -love throwing parties, so you better believe we’re going to be throwing the biggest and best graduation party for him to celebrate. He requested a taco bar which lead to an obvious theme of fiesta! —  so I’ve been busy crafting up piñata-inspired details this week to make sure it’s a fiesta to remember. Using tissue paper, I cut 1.5 inch strips in different colors and used fringe scissors to create the piñata-like texture. Next, I used a glue-stick to coat the non-fringed edge, and began to wrap it around the party horn whistle (I got these at a party store and removed the paper wrappers that came on them). Keep wrapping until you get to the end and add a little extra glue to ensure it’s sealed, then repeat with additional colors layered on top. I replicated the same process for drink stirrers, just wrapping a bit tighter around a small skewer, and used a few extra tiny scraps to make some tooth-pick flags for garnishes; can’t wait to use these at the party this weekend!

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Nothing says “it’s time to party!” like a handful of confetti — which is what inspired today’s DIY project! To get that festive look I used Chinet’s Cut Crystal to make confetti plates and cups. To start, I cut my own confetti using several colors of tissue paper. Then I spread a thin layer of clear-drying glue on the plates and for the cups, I painted a think layer about half way up the cup walls. Next comes the fun part — tossing the confetti over the plates, and into the cups. Using a second plate and cup, lightly coated with the glue, I pressed the plate down to seal the confetti in between the two plate layers, and repeated with the cups, stacking them to tightly seal the confetti between the cup walls. Finally, let them dry before using. I paired the cups with my confetti cocktail stirrers and was ready to party!

(Psst! Enter to win a $100 Amex Gift Card and Chinet Cut Crystal Party Pack so you can throw your own party!)

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Please note, this post and giveaway is sponsored by Chinet, and all opinions are my own.

When people ask me, ‘why do you like blogging?’ — it’s posts like these that make me unequivocally be able to say it’s getting to ‘meet’ and collaborate with so many awesome people. The darling Hattie, owner of Hattie Sparks, reached out to me with the idea of collaborating on a table-styling project using some of the beautifully curated products from her shop. I of course jumped at the chance and when I saw the bright Jonathan Adler pieces she pulled together,  I knew they were begging for a little taco party (I guess that makes this Taco Tuesday!). My husband absolutely loves tacos, they’re his favorite food, so I made a plan over the weekend to cook up some gourmet tacos for a Mexican-inspired date night at home.

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For the menu I made a spin on pulled pork tacos that were slow-cooked with chipotle peppers and honey and topped with a lime-chipotle slaw. I plated up some Mexican street corn on a bright green and white geometric patterned tray (those colors together were perfectly appetizing!), and of scooped lots of fresh guacamole and all the toppings into playful bird dishes and bowls! Of course we needed a sweet libation to wash down our tacos, so I mixed up a batch of orange mango margaritas in mod white rocks glasses.

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I hope I have made you thoroughly crave a taco night — I’ll be posting my recipes later this week so you can recreate the whole meal.

And to help you recreate the look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – shop away my dears,  you know need a guacamole bird bowl!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions, recipes, and taco jokes are my own. 

 

One of my favorite things about this blog is the great people I get to meet and collaborate with on projects, like the one I’m sharing today. A few weeks back I worked with the Urban Grape to style a Ladies Whiskey Party, a little get together intended to share some recipes all around whiskey. Brian Samuels shot some amazing pictures of the spread — which included whiskey-glazed bacon BLTs and a bourbon caramel drizzled chocolate cake. And the lovely Abby of Farm & Fable lent us the prettiest vintage glassware to highlight the whiskey cocktails. The whole recap can be found over on Style Me Pretty Living today, but here are a few of my favorite pictures (check back tomorrow for the detailed drink recipes!).

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We’ve had our fair share of cold winter nights this year, which means we’ve had to get creative with weekend plans and bring a few of our date-nights close to home. This weekend we had a little taste of summer with a coffee-table picnic. We had a plate of French cheeses — my sweet husband sent me a box of Murray’s Cheeses for Valentines Day (the way to my heart is Camembert, not roses!). We also had some local oysters, which I’ve always been intimidated to shuck on our own, but after some research on technique my husband mastered it in no time! The good news is the weather is warming up, so here’s hoping those newly obtained shucking skills are put to use at a real picnic soon.

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Sometimes inspiration just comes in bursts, doesn’t it? I have been scooping up ideas from so many gorgeous parties around the web — like a darling garden party from Grey Likes Weddings — I need to dip-dye some napkins just like those! The color palette, the bows, the florals, and the stripes are all perfection in a Kate Spade-inspired bridal brunch. And a sweet little farmer’s market picnic party has my wheels turning for some spring-time fetes!

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What a fun weekend I had. I spent Saturday hosting a DIY workshop at West Elm, which was a total blast — I promise to share pictures soon! And Sunday was of course reserved for some Super Bowl partying. I made Rice Krispy treats with cocoa krispies and molded them to look like little footballs, they flew off the plate. And my friend Lisa who was hosting had the cutest bar set up, complete with instructions for how to help yourself during the game, isn’t that such a cute idea? Hope your Sunday was filled with as many snacks as mine was!

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Bar photo via @taslimsidi; Measuring spoons c/o RedEnvelope

I thought I’d share a few snaps of our New Years Eve party before heading off for the weekend. I will be honest, I was a little frazzled getting ready for our annual party this year, I was nursing a cold, my balloons were deflating from the super-cold weather, and I forgot to bake a few of my appetizers! So when I realized guests would be arriving in just a few minutes, I zoomed around and snapped a few quick phone pictures and called it a day. But I don’t think anyone seemed to notice, we popped champagne, ate lots of snacks (I made homemade soft pretzels that were a hit), and even danced to a little Ke$ha in the living room after the ball dropped — a success in my book! Hope you had a fabulous New Year, can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store! NYE 2013 bNYE 2013 aNYE 2013 dNYE 2013 eNYE 2013 c

As I’m prepping for our annual New Year’s Eve party today, I thought I’d share the invites we sent out from Paperless Post. The kelly green striped envelopes reminded me of our wedding — perhaps the best moment of this year — and the festive confetti pattern just screams ‘let’s party!’ — am I right? Hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve filled with champagne toasts and midnight kisses!
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Yesterday I shared a quick DIY for upgrading store-bought party horns for the countdown to midnight. I had similar feelings about the poor selection of New Year’s Eve crowns at the party store and decided to whip up a few of my own. Using a store-bought crown as a template, I traced the bottom portion of the paper crown and then drew my own message for each crown. Using a sharp knife, I cut out the message from glitter scrapbook paper. Then I simple attached the cardboard cut-out piece with the two tabs I left and a few staples to the original crown headband! I can’t wait to pass these out to guests at the party!

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