Big update here people, it’s my birthday tomorrow! The nice thing about having your birthday right after Christmas, is you don’t feel guilty lusting over cute new products after the holiday rush — it’s totally allowed. So I’m sharing an updated ‘caught my eye’ list today with a few things I have on my radar. On the top of the list? Some new bedding — I have been scoping out Biscuit bedding for a possible bedroom refresh! And a cute water bottle to help me keep those new years resolutions… and the Mast Brothers chocolate cookbook for when I inevitably break them, right?

Wishlist Birthday

Tufted bench, Biscuit bedding sham, Anchor doormat, Chocolate cookbook, Heart water bottle, Gold dipped spoons, Belvoir cordials

Guys, it’s hump day — and no one likes hump day — let alone the first one after the holidays, so I saved this recipe from a few weeks ago that’s completely focused on butter to make you feel better. One of the nicest presents I received for Christmas this year was from my grandparents and uncle; they got me a bunch of artisanal pasta and olive oils from a local pasta shop in my hometown. Clearly my family knows me well, carbs are my first love.

Roasted Garlic Herb Butter 1

When it came time to test out one of those pastas I wanted to make it a super special dinner, so in addition to working on a nice sauce and some homemade meatballs, I got a fresh loaf of Italian bread and decided to whip up a special herbed butter to go with it. I roasted a whole head of garlic for about an hour in a  small dish with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then once the garlic was cooked and soft, I used the food processor to combine the cloves with a 3 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of chopped rosemary, and a teaspoon of chopped thyme, plus a little more salt and pepper. The result was a sweet roasted garlic and herb-y butter spread that went perfectly with the little Italian feast I prepared!

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In all of the holiday hustle and bustle I totally forgot to share pictures of little pre-Christmas adventure up to Quebec City! The trip has become a bit of a tradition for us, this marked our 4th year going, and the first time since we got engaged there two years ago.  It was a winter wonderland to say the least, we tromped through a fresh foot of snow to do window shopping, warmed up in cute cafes and restaurants with tasty soups and treats (macarons, of course!), and admired the holiday decorations on the old city’s streets. It’s always such a perfect little retreat to get in the holiday spirit.

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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!
happy new year

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

If you head on over to Style Me Pretty Living today you’ll see some pictures from a Crafts and Cocktails party my girlfriends and I threw to kick off the holiday season earlier this month. But before I share a few of my favorite pictures from the day, I thought I’d focus on the signature cocktail I whipped up for the event, priorities, right? I called it the Cran-Bourbon Fizz — just a little sweet and a little strong, a perfect combination if you ask me. And the cranberry and anise garnishes look so darn festive, don’t they? Full recipe below!
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Cran-Bourbon Fizz

2 oz Bourbon
.75 oz Grenadine
Seltzer water
Cranberries
Star Anise
Ice

Mix bourbon and grenadine over ice and stir to combine.
Top the glass with seltzer water to taste.
Garnish with cranberries and star anise.

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