‘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

Just a few days after we had moved into our new house in October I got an email to participate in one of the most fun photo shoots I’ve worked on to date — a holiday entertaining piece in the Improper Bostonian. We had a tiny window to shoot this holiday DIY feature and by some amazing luck, a group of talented, creative ladies got together with me to help pull it off (with stacks of my unpacked belongings in the nearby background). Below are a few pictures from the shoot (and two more behind-the-scenes pictures from that day); you can read the full article here: Improper Bostonian – Home for the Holidays.1125DIY-9 read more

If you’re waiting in line at the grocery store this week and see the new issue of Family Circle magazine, pick it up and give it a flip through, you just might see a familiar face (me!!). I’m excited that for the second year in a row to be their Happy to Host blogger, sharing hostess ideas for November holidays. In the article you’ll find a bunch of my tips for making holiday hosting a little bit less stressful and a little more fun this year. You’ll also get an exclusive recipe that I created for the holiday season with help of Hidden Valley Ranch: ranch roasted root vegetables, a family-friendly spin on some classic fall flavors that just might be the perfect way to spice up your Thanksgiving table this year. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

On our holiday dinner table, space can be at a premium — and we would always prioritize food and drink over tons of decorative details, which is where the idea for this simple, multi-use DIY came from. I washed out a rich green colored wine bottle with the intention of serving water in it on the Thanksgiving table, and decided to give it one more purpose: a passable menu detailing all of the great Thanksgiving dishes we’ll be feasting on. With a thick permanent marker, I hand-lettered the main dishes down the center of the bottle and finished it off with a large script ‘menu’ title where the base and neck meet. The best part? It costs nothing to make (well, minus the cost of the wine, but let’s be honest: I was going to drink that anyway!). IMG_5082-0.JPG

I spent Saturday at the Wayfair + Boston Bloggers‘ Home for the Holidays event and it got me majorly into the holiday spirit. I’m fine waiting a little longer until we start chatting about Christmas, but Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away so you better believe I’m starting to scheme up holiday  tablescape decorations. I started to test  a few ideas for place cards using natural elements — first, a big fresh artichoke centered on a plate with a small hand-drawn paper banner that I lettered in gold. For the next  place card I tied a silk blush ribbon around the stem of a tiny pumpkin (I love the golden and green colors in this one!). I used a deep red pomegranate and a gold permanent marker to create some faux-calligraphy for another option. And my fourth and final test was a small wreath that I made out of fresh thyme sprigs. A small piece of peach ribbon covered up where I tied off the wreath and I personalized it with a gold glitter monogram sticker. This one was my favorite because it smelled so fresh and rich! So what do you think, any favorites?
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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

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
Star Anise

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

I shared my brie and jam pinwheel bites last week from my friend Elizabeth‘s blogger holiday party, and realized I hadn’t yet shared the cocktail recipe we used for the event (brie and pastry dough are delicious, but they’re nothing without a tasty cocktail to wash them down with!). Elizabeth decorated stemless wine glasses with metallic gold dots that looked like sparkly little bubbles, so of course we had to fill them with something bubbly! We added to each glass about an ounce each of pomegranate juice and Grand Marnier signature collection liquor (it’s raspberry and peach flavored, holy yum.), and then filled the rest of the glasses with champagne — and of course, gave them a swirl with a tinsel-topped drink stirrer. I didn’t have a name picked out for this concoction just yet, and one of my fellow bloggers said, I think you should call it the Blogger Bellini! I’ll cheers to that.

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