Thursday, December 27, 2012

NYE Perfection!



Last week’s post about throwing a perfect holiday soiree got a lot of good feedback, so I’m going to write one for New Year’s as well! If you’ve decided to throw a party at your place instead of waiting 20 minutes for drinks at the bar, you’ve come to the right place. I have five simple suggestions to make your New Year’s Eve bash unforgettable.

1. Get organized.

If you missed last week’s post on preparing to throw a holiday party, here’s another chance. In it I suggest making a list, prepping food and drinks the day before, having an outfit pre-chosen, and appealing to the five senses. Those tips are very much applicable to getting organized before your NYE soirée.


Auld Lang Syne might just be the most popular NYE song, so don’t forget to play it for your guests!

http://etsy.me/Ub72wE


2. Sparkle

There’s no way around it: if you’re going to have a NYE party you’ve got to make it shine. From decorations to champagne to clothes, NYE is the time to get glitzy. Think bubbles, sparkles, metals, candles … the list is virtually endless. This dress should give you a good idea of what I’m thinking!

http://poshposh.com/2011/01/adam-black-silk-organza-sleeveless-dress-with-dark-purple-sequins/

  
And both of these images of streamers fit right in with the sparkly concept. Their bubble shapes tie in the champagne as well!

http://www.marthastewart.com/856543/decorations-new-years-eve/@center/859874/new-years-eve

http://www.marthastewart.com/273592/hanging-bubbly-ball-decorations

3. Pop some champagne.

The clock doesn’t strike midnight on New Year’s Eve without some hugs, kisses and champagne cheers! Make sure you have enough champagne flutes for all your guests, and don’t forget to chill it before you pop it. You can have simple flutes like the ones below and jazz them up with strawberries.

http://theartofbottledpoetry.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/how-sparkling-and-champagne-wines-are-made/


4. Don’t lose track of the time.

And how could you with a fabulous collection of clocks like this? If you don’t want to spend a fortune on these timepieces, check out Good Will or Salvation Army. I’m sure you’ll find something there that you can spray paint to make as awesome as these.


http://ritzybee.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/12/new-years-eve-party.html


5. Have fun!

The most important part of a New Year’s Eve party (or any for that matter) is to have fun. Enjoy the people you’re with!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Get Organized Before Your Christmas Soirée!


The holidays are generally stressful – especially if you’re entertaining – but they certainly don’t have to be! I’ve made a list of four things to do to get organized that will surely help you throw an amazing holiday party.

Make a list (and check it twice!). By listing everything you need to accomplish before the guests arrive, you not only will be able to visualize everything that needs to get done, but you’ll have the glory of crossing off your tasks once you finish them! Be sure to list items by priority so that if you happen to run out of time the most important things are taken care of.

http://cindysclassicgourmet.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/christmas-party-checklist/

Prep your food and beverages the day before. You’ll likely be running around the place making sure everything looks perfect (including yourself) and won’t need the additional stress of cooking. If you prep the day before all you’ll have to do is throw your dishes in the oven, on the stove or wherever it needs to go, and can entertain while the food is heating up. The same goes for drinks!

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http://www.hercampus.com/school/bc/skinny-drink-recipes-christmas-edition-0

http://www.phamfatale.com/id_2005/title_Savory-Cheesecake-Appetizer-Recipe/

Have your outfit picked out in advance. I can’t stress this enough! There’s nothing worse than rushing to get ready for a big event like a holiday party. Spend some time the day before trying on various outfits. Make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable, conducive to cooking and cleaning, and most importantly, cute! There’s no need for additional hassle. After all, the holiday season is all about happiness and gratitude, not about stress! (See a few variations of holiday outfits below for inspiration).
 
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http://www.karinainfashionland.com/2012/01/keep-calm-and-shine-on.html







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http://www.polyvore.com/baby_its_cold_outside/set?.embedder=4116309&.svc=pinterest&id=62970885

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http://goodlifeforless.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-outfit-winter-looksbook-photoshoot_23.html

Last but certainly not least, appeal to the five senses. Make your home taste, feel, sound, smell and look amazing. The food and drinks will take care of the first part. Make sure there’s enough sitting space for all your guests so everybody feels comfortable and cozy. Have some happy holiday music playing in the background, and while the food is wafting its tasty aroma throughout your place, be sure all your decorations are perfect for the holiday season.

http://splendidsass.blogspot.com/


http://www.everythingfab.com/2010/12/holiday-inspiration-table-decor.html

http://repurposedvintagefinds.blogspot.ca/2012/03/wordless-wednesday-branching-out.html
 
If you take care of these four things before your party, your Christmas soiree is sure to be a beautiful, stress-free and memorable event!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Finding The Perfect Holiday Gifts

This holiday season give the gifts that can stick around beyond New Year’s Day. Sure, poinsettias are beautiful and Santas are cute, but we don’t need to be like everybody else! Here are some amazing household gifts that you might even want to add to your own wish list


Soy Candles – All candle lovers know that soy candles are the best. They are the most potent and the burn forever. There are countless scents out there, but I think the Baltic Amber is one of the best for the holidays. It has a cozy, warm scent but can be burned year-round without smelling like Christmas.


http://www.candlesoffmain.com/voluspa-japonica-baltic-amber-jar-candle.aspx

Whiskey Stones – Perfect for any whiskey-loving man or woman, this is a gift that keeps on giving. Instead of diluting drinks, these super-trendy stones just chill the alcohol (and let’s be honest, it doesn’t have to be whiskey). They look pretty snazzy, too!


http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ba37/

Inspirational Signs – Patina has a slew of adorable wooden plaques that anybody would love to receive, men included. Holidays are meant for cheer, and nothing cheers you up quite like some lovely wall or desk décor! 

http://www.patinastores.com/catalog/home/features-1/patina-s-picks/be-you-tiful-plaque.html

Timeless Ornament – Okay we had to throw in an ornament because this one is just too beautiful and so in right now! Delicate, festive and stunning, a lovely glass ornament can be an addition to this year’s tree and will be happily retrieved again next year.



 http://www.pier1.com/European-Peacock-Ornament/2625364,default,pd.html?cgid=christmas_ornaments

For the holidays this year, design the life you love while helping others design theirs. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to Throw The Perfect Holiday Soirée

There are three main components to any successful soirée: Cocktails, appetizers and, of course, the décor.

The first thing you’ll want to do when guests arrive is get a drink in their hands. It will be one of their first impressions of your holiday bash, so why not make it leave a lasting impression?

I’ve dug up a couple cocktails that look and taste delicious and are perfect for your holiday soirée. The first one is called the Sleigh Ride Cocktail, and it’s essentially a spiked, warm apple cider. Served in a glass like this and garnished with a cinnamon stick shows you’ve gone the extra mile to impress your guests. Follow the link below the photo for the super simple recipe.

http://spicedblog.com/3-festive-holiday-cocktail-recipes.html
Peppermint Patties are great all winter, but the very best time to drink them is while hosting a party. They’re delicious, they look good, and they are definitely conversation pieces, especially when poured in a fabulous flute like this one!

http://capitalcookingshow.blogspot.com/2008/12/holiday-flavors-peppermint-patty.html#more
Never let a guest go hungry! The second aspect of a great party is the hors d'oeuvres. I came across this appetizer on Pinterest (follow my pins here) and I think it would be absolutely perfect for a holiday soirée!  The colorful endives (which are in season during the holidays) add a nice, festive flair, and they are topped off with smoked trout. Sounds and looks delicious, right? Be sure to check out the recipe by clicking on the link below.

http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2008/12/holiday-appetizer-smoked-trout-in.html
These Cranberry Kisses are puff pastries filled with goat cheese or Brie and topped with cranberry sauce. It doesn’t get much more festive than cranberries this time of year!

http://livlifetoo.blogspot.com/2011/11/goat-cheese-cranberry-kisses.html
And finally, the icing on the cake is of course the décor. Now have some fun with this, but don’t overdo it and make your guests feel claustrophobic!

Another great Pinterest find was this pot with birch logs, boxwood, pomegranates and lights. Imagine walking up to a party and being greeted by this clever and unique holiday piece … it would probably make you excited to get inside!

http://pinterest.com/pin/235524255484200520/
Keep your guests feeling calm and content by splattering your place with white. Look how great these neutrals all work together. Nothing is fighting for your attention; instead the reindeer, the Santa, the tree, the ornaments … they all create the perfect holiday scene. If all neutrals is too boring for you, don’t be afraid to spice it up with pops of red, purple or blue.

http://houseandhome.com/design/photo-gallery-christmas-decorating?page=26
Whatever route you take for your holiday soirée, just remember to pay careful attention to your cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and décor. Think simple, think modern and think classy, and you’ll be sure to throw a fantastic holiday bash.

And remember, design the life you love!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The trendiest Christmas!


If you caught last week’s post on spicing up your Thanksgiving table, you know I like to steer clear of traditional holiday colors. Bringing in new, punchy colors will make your Christmas tree all the more lovely!

Along with fun colors this year, birds are all the rage. Whether you decorate your tree with owls, ostrich or peacock feathers or even bird ornaments, you can be sure to have an über trendy Christmas tree this year by accenting your tree with ornaments like these:

These owls are absolutely adorable and, even though they aren’t green and red, they really bring about the Christmas spirit!

diggardensnursery.com/shop/holiday/botanic-owl-ornaments/

I love the organic look of the birds in this tree. They are hand sewn with burlap (which makes it perfect for the natural elements trend), and its neutral color can blend with any other color combinations.
ballarddesigns.com/burlap-bird-ornaments
These beautiful peacock feathers add some pizzazz to the greenery and will make a wreath or tree look extra festive. 

thisnext.com/item/B5E8794E/Mixed-Regal-Peacock-Feather
Don’t be afraid to stray away from green and red! These winter whimsy ornaments look beautiful with the combination of blues and green. Make it a cool Christmas using all cool colors.

macys.com
I love the grays, golds and silvers combined in this ornament collection. The metallic colors make for an edgy modern Christmas theme!

cocokelley.com
And finally, this vintage pink and black ornament epitomizes holiday spirit without screaming traditional. Imagine what adding some feathers, birds or unconventional colors could do for your Christmas tree!
etsy.com/listing/84704153/pink-and-black-christmas-ornament-ball
Whatever you choose to decorate with this season, have fun and happy holidays!

Design the life you love.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spice up your Thanksgiving table!


We’ve got just a couple of days until the table needs to be set and ready for Thanksgiving dinner. This year, I challenge you to try something new and modern. Something that says you are ready for 2013! Here are a couple simple ways to modernize your Thanksgiving table setting:

1. Utilize found items. Forget the leaves that all the other table settings have and try something from your backyard! Branches and sticks can be spray painted gold, red or white and will look glorious running down the table. Use berries for pops of color, and you can even spray paint gourds and pumpkins to give them a nontraditional color.

www.marthastewart.com
www.freshhomeideas.com




www.sjamerendejul.blogspot.com

 

2. Mix up the color scheme. Traditionally, Thanksgiving colors are reds, oranges and browns. Not this year! Bring in some pinks with your oranges and add pops of white, cream and charcoal to make the colors really stand out. Add turquoise with your brown. Place-mats, plates, candles … whatever you chose, dare to add some colors we rarely see this time of year.

www.ivillage.com
                                                                
www.little-inspirations.blogspot.com
                                                   


3. Combine patterns. Don’t be afraid to mix and match! Unconventional patterns make for an exciting dinner table, especially if you mix them up. From runners to napkins, tablecloths to ribbons, adding some funky patterns will make your Thanksgiving dinner setting unlike any other. Square or round white dishes pair nicely with any patterns you choose.

www.ivillage.com
                                                               

www.apartmenttherapy.com
                                                        


4. Layer place-mats. A multitude of place-mats can add depth without cluttering the already full table. Again, be fearless with your color and pattern choices, but make sure it’s cohesive and doesn’t take away from the food on the table.


www.quirkyspohisticate.blogspot.com/
                                            

www.houzz.com
                                                                

www.thesweetestoccasion.com
                                                      

 

Whatever you choose to set your table with this year, dare to modernize it a bit so it stands out from all the rest! Happy Thanksgiving!

Design the life you love.






Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 tips to freshen up your Kitchen and Bath


The summer is in full swing and the weather is gorgeous, yet you feel like your kitchen and bathroom could use a little TLC. Here are some great tips to get your spaces show ready for any last minute soirees that may pop up!


1. Fresh coat of paint or new wallcovering

This is the easiest and most inexpensive way to change a space that is feeling drab or tiresome. Dare to be different and add a bit of drama! You will be surprised at how the right color in a space can brighten your everyday life. 

potterybarn.com


allthingsnice4life.blogspot.com

2. Change out existing hardware on kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity.

The hardware is the jewelry of the space. Base your choice on the style you want the room to embrace. Have fun with your decision -- it's just hardware!


decorpad.com
nestegg.typepad.com

3. New lighting and faucet fixtures

With the ever-changing trends and invocations in lighting and fixtures it's hard to stay on top of it, yet great lighting and fixtures can bedazzle the best of us.

urrutiandesign.com

roomenvy.word


4. New Accessories

This can range from new towels and a mirror in the bathroom - to new rugs and a wine rack in your kitchen. Accessories are what make a space feel like a home, show off your style!


eclecticrevisited.files.wordpress.com

zillow.com
This kitchen above is Gwyneth Paltrow's and Chris Martin's in their new $10.5 million dollar home.


5.  A deep cleaning!

Whether you hire someone to take care of this or do it yourself, there is nothing better for a drab space than a deep cleaning of all surfaces, nooks, and crannies.

inch-worm.tumblr.com/

myfamilyinspires.net


I hope these tips turn your kitchen and bath into the most fabulous spaces in your home!

Design the life you love.