Please note: This post was created in paid partnership with Time Inc. and Chinet.

I love to entertain year-round, but the holiday season makes it so much more fun! I partnered with Chinet on a fun video that shares a bunch of ideas for how to add some sparkle and detail to your holiday tablescapes, including custom dinner menus, glittery tea light holders, and personalized place settings. With a neutral metallic palette, you can use these ideas from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and right through to New Year’s Eve! Check out the full video below:

read more

Thanksgiving is only 10 days away, which is totally boggling my mind! Over the weekend I started to write down a quick list of recipe ideas, items I need to stock up on from the grocery store, and a handful of my favorite entertaining pieces I plan to pack up and take with me when we head to my family’s house! My siblings and parents give me a hard time because I arrive for the holidays as though I needed to bring my entire kitchen with me – but I’m loyal to my favorite cooking tools, and have some go-to entertaining pieces that always make prep and serving easier. I ‘ve done a post before on my cooking essentials, and thought it would be fun this year to share my all-time favorite entertaining pieces to expand my list!entertaining
read more

I am long overdue on posting a few highlights from a baby shower I threw last month — so overdue in fact, my guest-of-honor has had her baby girl since the party already! There’s a due-date pun in there somewhere, but let’s get to the decorations and the menu already. It was a brunch, so we set up a champagne bar with several different kinds of homemade simple syrups to mix-up self-serve cocktails. I added a few bottles of sparkling water too so mocktails could be made with the same flavors. There were tons of baked breakfast treats, and one of my favorite parts of the menu was mini yogurt, berry and granola parfaits that I chilled in tiny mason jars — they flew off the table! For decorations I went with a palette of pool blue, mint and peach for paper fans and garlands — all fresh, bright pastels that complimented the Liberty print paper goods I found for the table and pieces from my vintage jadeite collection. I couldn’t host the shower without a few DIY elements, and crafted up some mini “party-animals” out of plastic kids toys, gold spray paint, and party hats made from paper and pom-poms. I used them to decorate cupcakes and nestle in between the food and bar tables — the perfect little details for a festive baby shower! Colleens Baby Shower

read more

This weekend I threw what I hope is my first annual dip party. A dip party you say? What is a dip party? Well, a group of girlfriends got together, everyone bought a different homemade dip and we snacked and snacked and snacked! I had each girl send me their recipe in advance so I could make sure we had no repeat ideas (we had quite the variety, from asian dips to hummus to dessert dips!), and it gave me the opportunity to pick out some delicious  all-natural Food Should Taste Good chips to pair with them. I used a big tiered serving stand to display all different flavors (jalapeño, blue corn, and sweet potato were my favorites). I also used the recipes to make little recipe card sets for party favors, each guest brought home a stack of cards with each dip recipe to make again and again. I’ll be sharing some of the recipes here over the next few days!Dip Party 1 read more

How is it already 5 days into the New Year? I feel like I was in a mad sprint at the end of the year with work, holidays, and getting tons of projects done for our annual New Year’s Eve party. This was the first time hosting it out at our house, so we made New Year’s Eve an official housewarming party since many of our friends hadn’t seen our new place yet (and plus, it guilted them to drive out to the ‘burbs for the night, #realtalk). It was a totally different experience throwing this party than our past 5 years of apartment hosting. For starters, it takes a lot more time to clean and prep a whole house than it did an apartment; we also had quite a few guests sleepover so we had lots to do to fix up guest bedrooms and freshen bedding. On top of all of that, I didn’t have my party flow down — you know: the spot you always put the bar, the place you always set out the food — all of that was trial and error this time around. Oh and one more thing: we had construction going on in our kitchen and wet paint in our dining room up until about 20 hours before the party started — can you hear my panicked laugh?!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

read more

‘Tis the season for holiday spirit, and drinking those holiday spirits! One of my favorite parts of getting ready to entertain is setting up my bar cart with festive accents. I pulled together tons of inspiration for bringing pops of metallics and lots of fun details to your own holiday bar cart (all of which are under $75!). Add a classic bar cart — this one is a steal from Target — to get your entertaining game in tip-top-shape before Christmas and New Years.Holiday Gold Bar Cart read more

We’ve been in our house for exactly one month now, and are starting to finally feel settled (yay!), but aren’t in a place yet to be hosting a massive Thanksgiving dinner. I dream of this though! Maybe in the next few years we’ll be ready to host on our own, I mean, it’s basically the Super Bowl of entertaining and eating and I think I’d be a pretty strong contender at that game (ladies and gentlemen, the first time a sportsanalogy has ever been used on this site!). Even though I’m not hosting, I still have lots of ideas for a spectacular Thanksgiving tables to share, so I worked with Julie from Posh & Prep Calligraphy to come up with a few special details that are easy to translate to your own turkey day celebrations!
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

read more

I’m long overdue in recapping the baby shower I helped throw for my darling cousin Jana a few weeks ago. She had a dream team of friends and relatives that jumped in to help throw her a shower, so I volunteered to tackle what I do best — decorations. When I was visiting her a few months back she showed me an amazing DIY mobile she was going to hang over the baby’s crib, a festive little thing full of pink and mint tassels and pom-poms — the perfect inspiration piece for the baby shower. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset read more

If I was queen of anything, I think I’d probably be the queen of the last-minute DIY. I wish I was one of those bloggers that plans her awesome ideas months in advance so I could just hit publish a week before an event, but my best inspiration always seems to pop up the day before a holiday! Case and point: my derby day DIY epiphany popped into my head earlier this weekend. The good news is that this DIY concept can be used in dozens of different ways for many holidays to come, using gold clay and wooden skewers to make some horseshoe drink stirrers.
The instructions are simple: roll out modeling clay to about 1/4″ thickness and use an exacto-knife to cut out your shape — in this case, a simple horseshoe. Next, use a small wooden toothpick or dowel to add details before popping the pieces in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes. Once the pieces have cooked, hardened, and cooled, use a tiny drop of hot glue to affix to a wooden skewer. Let the glue set and you’re ready to pop them into a mint julep or cocktail of your choice!