I’m very excited to have some fabulous guest bloggers this week sharing summer essentials for their favorite travel destinations. First up is Sara Kate of Sara Kate Studios and she’s taking us on  chic adventure through Florence, Italy. Welcome Sara Kate!

After spending a semester in Florence I fell in love with the city, and I simply cannot think of a better place I’d love to visit this summer. While living there I had the Duomo outside my window, gelato mere steps away, and a museum within minutes — how can I resist? I selected a few essentials that I have been craving lately to help get you in the mood with me. Inspired by the vibrance of the city, as well as its rich worn history, these pieces are perfect for gallivanting around the city day or night.

While in Florence be sure to…

Spend time at the Uffitzi which houses the Medici’s immense collection of art.

Hike to the top of the Duomo- if the hike doesn’t take your breath away the view of the city will.

See PIazza de Pitti and its beautiful Boboli gardens — it is like the Versailles of Florence, and was one of my favorite places.

Go out for apertivo at night. The Italian’s version of happy hour includes lots of appetizers with your drink of choice. I strongly suggest Colle Bereto which is located in Piazza Strozzi.

See Florence from San Miniato. If you are there for an evening Vesper you can hear the monks do Gregorian chants.

Finally, be sure to eat gelato in as many different flavors as possible (almost all of them are incredible) as well as drinking Chianti with every dinner.

Ciao! Sara Kate

1.Tiburon Blouse. 2.Kodak Brownie Camera. 3.Linda Farrow Luxe Sunglasses. 4.Ben-Amun Earrings. 5.1897 Central Italy Travel Book. 6.Compass Points Shorts. 7.Field Notes. 8.Flea Bag. 9.Sprinkler Rush Sandals. 10.Seersucker Patent Jenny Ann Wristlet. 11.Fleeting Peony Hat. 12.Globetrotter Suitcase. 13.Mattise Asher Wedges

I hosted my book club for brunch this weekend and had fun setting the table with a new tablecloth and some Spring flowers. Champagne glasses and cloth napkins made a get together with the girls a little more special. I served popovers and fruit salad, and some delicious whole wheat banana pancakes with cinnamon butter, YUM!

 

I think I’m just going to start a new blog or tumblr that features amazing cake pictures. I could look at them all day long! My obsession today is this six-layer  chocolate malted & toasted-marshmallow cake, it looks heavenly. Visit Sweetapolita for the recipe and to look at the gazillion other delicious pictures — I have definitely found a new favorite baking blog.

Another cake moment this morning was spotted on You Are My Fave, where mini cakes were used in lieu of floral centerpieces for a party tablescape. Man I’m hungry!

Today seems like an appropriate day to share all of my Valentine’s Day girl’s night pictures. We had tons of fun, but then again, how can you not when the champagne is flowing and the cupcakes are stacked high? I’m still recovering from my sugar-high, I think Valentine’s Day dinner tonight will have to be something savory to balance my icing intake from the past few days. What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Now that all of my Valentine’s day party invites have gone out in the mail I can share pictures of them. I drew out the image and scanned it into my computer to edit it. Then I printed them out and affixed them to super cute polka-dot notecards from Paper Source.  Can’t wait to sip cocktails  and inhale cupcakes with my girlfriends this weekend!

Guess what arrived in the mail this weekend? Supplies for my Valentine’s day party! I’m most excited about the heart straws that I ordered. Stick around this week for lots of Valentine’s day entertaining talk, I’ve been crafting for days.

I had a  very productive evening last night and after finishing writing thank you notes I managed to start working on some invites to a little Valentine’s day soiree I’m throwing. I thought I’d give you a little sneak peek at the sketches I was working on… I’ll show you the finished product when they’re done!

 

Have I mentioned that my birthday is on Monday? I’m a giant brat about my birthday and always demand that people make a big deal about it. Some people think it’s unreasonable to act like that when you’re an adult, but i don’t hang out with those types of people. I hang out with awesome girls who are indulging my brattiness by throwing me a party this weekend!

Anyway, I brought up the topic of birthdays because they remind me of cupcakes, and I wanted to show you these really cute cupcake wrappers. I’m not in charge of my birthday celebration this year, it’s in the hands of those kick-ass girls, but I still really want to buy some polka dot cupcake wrappers… perhaps I’ll throw a Valentines Day party??

PS: Enter my New Year’s Resolution Giveaway, Click Here.

As promised, I have a few pictures of my New Years Eve decorations to share today. I know lots of people hate on New Years Eve because it’s usually expensive, cold, and overhyped… but I have a hard time hating on a holiday that celebrates with cases of champagne and sparkly tiaras.

My color theme for the party was bright pinks and jewel tones, and  I got to use some of the gold polka-dot glasses that I received as a gift to hold clusters of carnations. Then I used remnants of Ikea fabric to cover the bar and whipped up a banner out of leftover felt from my tree skirt projects.

And I made another sign for the living room, also with leftover felt. Plus I got some festive confetti balloons from the party store — I thought they were part of the plastic but later realized when one popped over my head that they were in fact just clear balloons filled with real confetti!

I also repurposed my felt garland from the Christmas tree and wove it around tables and hung it from windows and picture frames, it was worth all of the tedious cutting and sewing now that they’ve been used for multiple events!

Overall the night was a success! How was your New Years Eve? Did you play hostess too?

When it comes to entertaining, most of my dishes and glassware are white and clear, then I can have fun with accessories and linens to switch up the theme. I think that gold is the new neutral and is also a perfect backdrop for lots of color combinations too. Plus a touch of sparkly metallic makes them extra festive.

Of course Kate Spade is right on trend, with their champagne saucers and gold place settings (on sale on Gilt!). And I love the cross-hatch pattern on Vera Wang’s serving bowls (also on sale!). Plus, a little elf told me that those striped and polka-dot glasses may be under my tree on Christmas morning… I can’t wait!

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