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Just a few more days until we reach my favorite holiday, New Year’s Eve! I’m a New Year’s nerd and love the feeling of a clean slate that the change of the calendar brings. And then of course there’s the literal change of the calendar — my husband got me the cutest Sugar Paper planner for a Christmas gift! Not to mention the sparkly, metallic party decor and champagne bottle popping that comes with this particular holiday. New Year’s Eve, tucked in a week after Christmas, can be a scramble to prepare for and I always find myself searching last minute for the party decor details I need for my annual celebration. This year, just a week out from my due date, we’re hosting a small dinner party. To help prep, I thought I’d share some of my favorite last-minute resources for the best festive New Year’s Eve party supplies:  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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It’s here! It’s here! My favorite holiday of the year! I know people get all grumpy about New Year’s Eve because it usually involves an overly expensive dinner or a crowded bar, but that’s why I decided a long time ago to throw my own New Years bash and give all my friends the perfect plan for sending out the year in style and kicking off the new one just right. Call me a sap, but I love the idea of starting the new year with my best friends, doing what I love most: entertaining. It’s also one of my favorite holidays because it involves all things glitter and sparkle and confetti-filled. So if you’re hosting your own soiree this year, or need to add a little pop of celebration to a night in watching the ball drop, I’ve got a few last minute DIY ideas you can craft up. I worked on these with Julie of Posh and Prep who lent her expert calligraphy skills to make them a little extra special! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset read more

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

Well guys, I’m certainly foodie and the party planner of my family — but I’m certainly not the fashionable one. I leave that job to my stylish sister Mara, and I’m super excited to announce that she’ll be joining the DomestiKatedLife team and contributing a monthly style column with tips and ideas for looking your best! To kick it off, she’s rounding up some last-minute accessory additions for the perfect New Year’s Eve look: 

‘Tis the season to sparkle! With New Years Eve just around the corner (how did that happen so fast?), here a few ideas for accessories you can add to dress up a little black dress that’s already hanging in your closet (or consider buying a new one — this Old Navy version is under $20!). One accessory not pictured: copious amounts of champagne—cheers!

New Years Eve Outfit

Party Time HeadbandBaubleBar EarringsPop Fizz Clink BangleClutchKate Spade Heels | Little Black Dress

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!

New Years Eve Party Crowns 1 New Years Eve Party Crowns 2 New Years Eve Party Crowns 3 New Years Eve Party Crowns 4b New Years Eve Party Crowns 5

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.

New Years Eve Party Horns 1 New Years Eve Party Horns 2 New Years Eve Party Horns 3 New Years Eve Party Horns 4 New Years Eve Party Horns 5