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!

Why is it that of all of the party wares you can buy, that drinkware is always the most plain and boring? I mean, what’s more fun than DRINKS people? I have found it quite tough to find fun, festive options for disposable glasses, so I decided to come up with a way to make them more festive on my own — this is such a simple idea that I’m kind of kicking myself for not coming up with it earlier. I purchased simple clear plastic cups from the party store and then used printable colored labels from Paper Source to write out a fun phrase (since these were for a morning event, I wrote “good mornin’ sunshine” on the stickers). After printing them out at home, I simply adhered the stickers to the cups before serving a tasty rosemary lemonade in them. I’m positive I’ll be replicating this idea for many parties in my future!

I needed a sweet treat to snack on during the Oscars and thought I’d have a little fun updating a classic: the chocolate chip cookie. Martha Stewart’s soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe is just about the most perfect cookie specimen there is, but I couldn’t help but mix it up for the biggest movie night of the year with some movie theater candy. I followed the original recipe, and then swapped out the chocolate chips for a mixture of M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, and Raisnets. Spoiler alert: they were crazy tasty. I’m thinking these will be an annual Oscars night staple!

Movie Theater Cookies 1
Movie Theater Cookies 5
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Movie Theater Cookies

Come football play-off season the pressure is really on for me. I’m not talking about being nervous or worked up about the actual games, I’m talking about intensely brainstorming game-day snack ideas. While everyone else is preparing their picks for the big game, I’m busy concocting up ideas for what I plan to stuff my face with. And good news: I have a buttery, carb-y, pepperoni-stuffed plan, my friends! When I hit a mental block thinking about what to bring to a football viewing party last weekend my husband offered me some sage advice. He said: ‘you usually do well by taking something big and tasty and turning it into a bite sized snack’ – of course! So I shrunk down my favorite flavors in pizzas and garlic breads into a super easy Pepperoni-Stuffed Garlic Knot bite. The full recipe is below for all of your Superbowl Party planning needs!  2015/01/img_5973.jpgGarlic Knot 1Garlic Knot 2Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


  • Store-bought pizza dough
  • Pepperoni
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of parsley leaves
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pull or cut 1″ round pieces of pizza dough and use your fingers to roll into a 1 to 2″ disc. Top the disc with a piece of pepperoni and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
  • Roll the sides of the dough over the pepperoni and cheese filling and pinch the dough closed to seal it inside. Roll dough around in between your hands to round the shape and ensure the dough is fully sealed. Repeat until all of the dough is used up and arrange the dough balls into a pie dish.
  • In a food processor, combine butter, parsley and garlic. Spread the garlic herb butter over the dough, making sure that the mixture is evenly dispersed.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the garlic knots just begin to turn gold brown.  Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

There are few things I adore more than styling up a pretty table for a gathering — so I jumped at the chance to borrow vintage jadeite and milk glass pieces from the new Pop and Circumstance rentals collection and pull together a festive New Year’s Brunch. Jadeite was probably one of the first vintage items that I started to collect when tagging along with my mom and aunt to estate sales and flea markets. I’m drawn to the rich cool colors and all of the variety in how the material was used for kitchenwares. This collection has grown to include quite the comparable set of milk glass as well, and Becky — the owner of Pop and Circumstance— and I have bonded over our mutual love for the pieces. I used a few pieces from my collection as inspiration and Becky filled in the rest with vintage linen napkins, milk glass tumblers that were used to hold flatware, and even a nesting set of jadeite bowls for me to mix up my mini-pancakes in. These tiny pancakes were the focal point of the brunch — mini-stacks topped with berries make for an easy grab off the buffet table when guests are mingling (and isn’t everything cuter when we make it bite-sized?).

Pancake Stacker 1 Pancake Stacker 2 Pancake Stacker 3Pancake Stacker 4 Pancake Stacker 6 Pancake Stacker 7 Pancake Stacker 8 Pancake Stacker 9

Here’s the thing — those glitzy crowns and party horns that we all buy for New Year’s — they’re super corny, but so very necessary. I like the annual challenge of finding new ways to update these simple party-store  finds into something a little bit more special. Last year I used glitter letter stickers to write out messages on simple paper party horns — and this year I took the same concept and revamped it. With some metallic Sharpie markers and a little bit of patience I carefully hand-wrote silly New Year’s resolutions on a set of big party horns. I plan to pop them all in a vase for some table-decor, and let my guests pick a resolution that matches their personality (and sense of humor!).

NYE Party Horn 3 NYE Party Horn 2 NYE Party Horn 1

Every year at our annual New Year’s Eve celebration, I stock the bar with the usual suspects (champagne, wine, beer) and then add one signature drink to the mix that is festive and easily prepared in advance. This year my color scheme is revolving around mints and golds, so I thought a peachy colored drink would look great on the bar. After some brainstorming, I landed on a grapefruit juice based cocktail that I’m calling the ‘Grapefruit Sparkler.’ To make a batch for yourself start with a pitcher or carafe and mix together 3 cups of chilled grapefruit juice, 1 cup of white rum, and 1/4 cup of elderflower liquor — use this ratio to double or triple the recipe depending on how large your party is. To serve, pour the mixture 3/4 of the way full in a flute and top the remaining 1/4 of the glass with a bubbly prosecco and a sparkly drink stirrer — cheers!

Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail 1 Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail 2 Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail 3Find similar champagne flutes here: Anthropologie | Waiting on Martha

The Harvard Common Press is celebrating their New England ties by hosting a virtual cookbook potluck with a bunch of local food writers. So when they reached out to me to join on the fun, I of course said yes and said I’d bring the cocktails! I dug through the Harvard Common Press’ book Party Drinks! and found one recipe that seemed like the perfect fit for the occasion: a Ward 8 — named for the 8th Ward of the city of Boston. In a cocktail shaker over ice you pour 4 oz of Rye, 1/2 oz of Grenadine, 1/2 oz Simple Syrup, and fresh lime juice. Shake it up, strain it out into two glasses, and garnish with an orange and cherry, and of course give a clink of the glass and toast to something fun!

partydrinkspartydrinks1partydrinks5partydrinks3partydrinks6Please note: Harvard Common Press sent me a complimentary copy of Party Drinks!; all photographs and opinions are my own. 

Guys! We’re one week out from my very favorite holiday (because it’s all about food and family, my two favorite things!). Being as food obsessed as I am, I’m already thinking about delicious leftovers. The day after Thanksgiving at my family’s house is usually a continuation of the festivities, we dig into leftovers and friends and family pops in to visit. Of course no one would turn down a post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich, but I thought I would mix it up this year and try to repurpose some leftover side dishes to make a festive appetizer to enjoy while family is still visiting at the end of the holiday weekend. Leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and sweet potatoes got a little dressed up and repurposed as filling for stuffed mushrooms — the taste of Thanksgiving in a bite sized snack! Full recipe below.
Thanksgiving LeftoversThanksgiving Leftovers A Thanksgiving Leftovers B Thanksgiving Leftovers C Thanksgiving Leftovers D Thanksgiving Leftovers E Thanksgiving Leftovers F Thanksgiving Leftovers G Thanksgiving Leftovers H
  • Mushroom caps
  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Leftover baked sweet potatoes (1 potato)
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Leftover stuffing
  • Cooked italian sausage
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley (for garnish)
  • Green Onions (for garnish)
  • Crispy bacon (for garnish)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Clean the mushroom caps and remove stems.
  • Using a small spoon or melon-baller, scoop out the inside of the mushroom caps to make room for filling (cup the mushrooms in your hand to keep them from breaking.
  • For Mashed Potatoes: fill mushroom caps with leftover potatoes, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • For Sweet Potatoes: combine sweet potatoes with a drizzle of honey and melted butter; fill caps with mixture.
  • For Stuffing: combine leftover stuffing with cooked and chopped italian sausage, fill caps with mixture.
  • Arrange filled mushroom caps in a baking dish, salt and pepper to taste, and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  • Remove and garnish: add green onions to the top of the mashed potato stuffed mushrooms; chopped crispy bacon to sweet potato stuffed mushrooms, and minced parsley to the top of stuffing filled stuffed mushrooms.

At the Wayfair + Boston Bloggers ‘Home for the Holidays’ Event last weekend, my Boston-blogging partner in crime Alison gave a great chat about planning your content around the holidays and one of her pieces of advice was resurfacing old posts to share when seasonally relevant. It got me thinking about some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from blog posts past. As I’m sure you’re in a similar Thanksgiving menu planning mode that I’m in this week, I thought I’d round up four of my favorite that offer a fun twist on a traditional Thanksgiving food element.

To start things off: a seasonal cocktail that brings apple cider to the forefront, Apple Autumn Punch. A tasty appetizer that brings in the sweet flavors of apple pie but the savory balance of a baked brie, Baked Brie with Apple Compote. We always have mac and cheese on our Thanksgiving menu for the vegetarians, and this version is baked in cored apples; Mac and Cheese Baked Apples. For dessert, I’ve tried a bite sized version of pumpkin pies and used cookie cutters to spell out a message of thanks: Thankful for Pie.