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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It’s party-prep time for our annual New Year’s Eve shindig, and I was out this weekend looking for pretty favors but was disappointed in so many of the options at my local party store. So I decided to grab some plain-jane party horns from Target and give them a 5-minute upgrade. Using sparkly gold alphabet stickers from the scrapbook section of the craft store, I customized the part horns with festive messages — a super simple DIY! I’m going to put them in a vase on our bar for decoration and then pass them out at midnight.

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As promised, I’m sharing a few of my favorite shots from our Holiday Crafts and Cocktails party that’s over on Style Me Pretty Living today. The holidays can be a crazy busy time of year, so we decided to throw a little party for our best girlfriends that would allow us to celebrate together while being productive and tackling some Christmas projects. We decorated cards, wrapped presents, and ate our fair share of cheese and crackers and cookies.  It was great to take a break from the holiday madness and enjoy time with friends, all while marking items off our Christmas to-do-list! Head over to Style Me Pretty to see the full party.

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All images by Bring To Light Photography, floral design by Little Flower Cottage

Wrapping gifts were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I’d be selected to represent my country. I went on a wrapping bonanza this weekend and taped up, tied, and adorned packages for hours. Every year I pick a color palette so my gifts have a ‘theme’ and this year I decided to pick some classic colors — lots of reds and whites, with touches of kraft paper and Christmas greens. I got great papers at Target (the fair isle print is from the dollar-bin, and chevron is from the regular wrapping section!), and added in some accent papers from Paper Source (the wood grain) and TJ Maxx (the plaid — that I’m in love with!). And I mixed up the ribbons with a combination of bakers twines and leftover silk ribbons from years past. I’m so happy how they all look together!

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