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!

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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!


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).



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.
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.

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!

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!

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.,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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!