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

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‘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!
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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!

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!

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Movie Theater Cookies 5
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Movie Theater Cookies 2
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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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.