In my mind, the quartz, bar cart, gold frame and floor lamp are all pieces that you could have forever. I love that rocks are ‘in’ right now — makes me feel less nerdy after YEARS of collecting them in high school… ha ha!
The hashtag ice trays make me excited to have a party and the shoes and necklace are both awesome — when I was traveling last week, I saw a ton of women wearing Chanel espadrilles similar to the Payless ones. They were beautiful, but I looked up the cost — almost $1,000!!! Crazy. The super cute Payless version is $30… I know which way I’m going!
Lastly…the fig tree. I can’t wait to add one of these to the office – just have a long way to go to get organized! Some greenery will be the cherry on top!
One of the best part of the holidays are festive sweaters and sweatshirts. It’s a blast to go to a holiday party and don your favorite cheesy Christmas apparel. I can’t remember what I was reading, but recently, a link took me to the below sweatshirt on ShopBop.
So cute, right? Price check: $98. What the WHAT?! (as my co-worker Julie would say). It’s cute, but that’s just too much for a sweatshirt that might be worn once a year. But… it’s the perfect DIY project!
This project cost under $15 and took less than 10 minutes. During a busy holiday season, that’s all you can ask for, right?
-White sweatshirt (I got mine at Walmart for $5.96; it’s even cheaper on the website!)
2-Cut two large squares with rounded edges for eyes, the carrot nose and seven squares with rounded edges for the mouth. I based the size of each on the proportions on the sweatshirt.
3-Cover the back with a hearty amount of Liquid Stitch and secure on sweatshirt.
4-Let the sweatshirt and all the pieces dry for 30 minutes.
I mean, really? How easy is that?!
As you prep for the holidays, don’t spend too much time if you’re looking for a festive top for a party. This DIY will save you lots of stress and time. Throw on a red scarf, a black winter hat or top hat (that would be so cute!) and head to your party!
It’s hard to believe this dinner party happened almost two (!!!) years ago and it’s still one of my favorite little get togethers I have ever hosted.
The sports industry is full of amazing moments and people, but, by far, the biggest negative is that, inevitably, your friends will move on to new teams for great opportunities. As hard as it is to say goodbye, it makes the quality time with those friends all that more special.
On a weekend during which we were able to reunite, I had a small dinner party with three girlfriends: Jaime, Aly and Kristy. Now, even though it was just the four of us, I really wanted to make the night special and representative of these three ladies: sassy, sparkly, girly and fabulous.
First, I decorated the entry way. Feather boas seemed appropriate and I love the quote, “Time to drink champagne and dance on the table.” This little group loves their bubbles and wine, and I couldn’t resist. The mirror is hard to see in this photo, but I was able to find paint pens (I remove the ink from the mirror with acetone) in pink and gold and added some polka dots to the design. [The paint pens, charger for the flutes and boas were from Michael’s; the cake plate and ice bucket were gifts.]
On the entryway table, I had flutes of champagne (they’re from Olive & Cocoa—similar to these wine glasses, but tall and thin; a gift from the sweetest Pelicans season ticket holders!) and a bottle of bubbles for a toast upon arrival. BTW, we went SUPER classy and wore sweats to dinner – is there anything better than a girls’ night with bubbles and sweats?!
When the girls walked in, they saw my favorite part of the party: the tablescape. Below are the details on how it was created:
Table runner: This was so simple. I found this awesome scrapbook paper at Michael’s with big chunks of pink and gold glitter. Using a roll of craft paper (from Ikea) on the back to give it some strength, I attached four pieces together to make the table runner. I’m not going to lie – it shed. A LOT. But it was a small price to pay for how pretty it was.
Tea light holders: I found some frosted glass tea light holders at the Dollar Tree (I think they were four for $1!) and used Modge Podge to cover them with pink and gold glitter. Super easy! [I couldn’t find the exact link, but this is the kind of glitter I used.]
Flowers: At the Winn-Dixie by our house, they often have bundles of flowers three for $12. The spray roses were perfect for doing a few short arrangements for the table.
Vases: To add some glitter to the vases – there clearly wasn’t enough – I used double-sided tape, placed it on the vase and sprinkled glitter over it to give it some color. [The vases were $1/piece at the Dollar Tree.]
Wine charms: I wanted to do something simple, so I cut a small square of cardstock, hole-punched it and cut a slit to make it fit around the stem. Then, I simply added a gold glitter letter sticker to each for the first letter of everyone’s name. After I added the charm, I just tied a little piece of pink ribbon around the middle of the stem for an added touch. [The ribbon, letters and scrapbook paper came from Michael’s, but I couldn’t find them online].
Napkin rings: I looked all over for ones I liked and I figured it would just be easier to make my own, I just used scrapbook paper and ribbon to create the rings. The ribbon was attached with double-sided tape, which was also used to close the rings. [The ribbon and scrapbook paper came from Michael’s, but I couldn’t find them online].
We had a salad with spinach, feta, tomato and cucumber with balsamic vinaigrette, meatballs and red sauce over penne pasta and for dessert I made ‘pink velvet’ mini-cakes with cream cheese frosting from scratch.
It was such a blast – I miss those girls so much! How do you plan for dinner parties with your girlfriends? What are some of your go-to special touches?
Over the last few years, I’ve become a red wine drinker and, unfortunately, some of my favorite options are a little on the pricey side. DISCLAIMER: I’m no professional when it comes to tasting — I just like to try new wines and see how I like them. I’ll then buy those (if they’re at a good price range) for dinner parties or the holidays and ask around to see what our guests enjoy.
Here are five options that are a little less expensive for your next dinner party — or after a tough day at the office! While writing this article, I also noticed a ton of great recipes on each site, so I may have to try those out.
Going in thinking I would not be impressed with this wine, it’s quickly become one of my go-tos—as has Dreaming Tree’s Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s listed at $15 a bottle on the website, but at our local grocery stores, a lot of times it’s on sale for $12. Description: Notes of smoky berry and a pop of raspberry jam.
From the tasting notes: “A blend of the North Coast’s finest varieties, this wine has some great caramel oak and mixed berry characters on the nose, juicy raspberry flavors and full-but-soft and approachable tannins.”
Initially, I loved Chateau Ste. Michelle’s chardonnay and it was a restaurant go-to when I wanted a good glass of wine that wasn’t outrageously priced. Their cab is delicious, too and runs right around the $15 range, though, again, at least locally for us, it’s often on sale. If we’re making steaks at home, I’ll often pick up a bottle of the cab — it’s great! Description: Crafted to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit.
From the tasting notes: “Fresh and expressive, deftly balanced and juicy, with raspberry and cherry flavors supported by hints of cinnamon and pepper. The finish persists against nubby tannins. Drink now through 2020.”
Because of its name, I always feel a little inappropriate having this on-hand for our families at the holidays, but it’s a great table wine that usually runs about $14 per bottle. It was one of the first reds I had ever tried and it’s always an easy one to grab when I’m at the store. Description: Blend-46% Zinfandel, 36% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon
From the tasting notes: “Loaded with black fruit and dark chocolate aromas. Smooth and full-bodied with a lovely juiciness for many dishes. A blend of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes.”
I’ve only had this one a handful of times and I blanked on the name, so I had to phone a wine-loving friend! The times I have had it, I’ve loved it and it’s a proven crowdpleaser since I’ve had it at multiple parties. And at $12 a bottle…sold! Description:Blend: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Syrah, 2% Other Varietals.
From the tasting notes: “There are aromas of dark berry fruits and plum on the nose with chocolate and vanilla on the palate.”
When we were in Southern Africa a couple summers ago, I became obsessed with La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. My cousin brought it with us on safari and we would enjoy a bottle at dinner each night. SO delicious. When I first got back, I looked for it locally and had no luck, and, in my mission to have ANY South African wine, gave The Wolftrap a shot. It’s really a good option – I like the blackberry flavor, personally. Description: Red blend including Syrah, Mourvedre and Viognier.
From the tasting notes: “‘The easy one’ – Full of black fruits, red and black berries with some violet flavors. Smooth on the palate with some fresh aromas of wild strawberries and cherries.”
For a few dollars more…
Here are my top 3 under-$20 picks that I find at our local stores (again, I can almost always find one of them on sale!)
Over the weekend I completed a DIY that I was really excited about: a jewelry display board with piñata-like fringe. It took a bit of time, but it was simple and looks so pretty! I used it for a jewelry party, but I may have to rearrange my jewelry/reorganize my closet so I can use it all the time!
Tissue paper (I used almost four packs of gold packs with five sheets and about three packs of cream with eight sheets).
Hot glue/hot glue gun
Board (I used a piece of MDF I had from an old project)
1″ brass nails (I used between 20-30).
1-Cut strips of tissue paper about 4″ wide. The gold package I had fit all the way across the board, while the cream did not; I had to combine pieces to make it the width of the board.
2-Cut straight lines from the bottom, leaving about an inch and a half at the top for gluing.
3-Glue a strip of one color across the bottom of the board (I started with gold).
4-Using the same color as the tissue you glued to the bottom, line up the bottom of the fringe with the bottom of the board and glue down a strip of tissue paper, making sure it extends past both sides; just let it hang down for now).
5-Layer a second sheet on top of the first to make the fringe thicker and give it some depth.
6-Continue this process alternating colors.
7-When you get to the top, before you lay the last line of tissue, glue a piece in that color across the top and cover the end of the board (and sides).
8-Once your board is covered, you’ll have excess hanging on both sides. Go ahead and cut all of it down so it wraps around the side and about an inch on the back.
9-Starting at the bottom, glue or tape the excess to the back of the board; for this step, I sat the board on our counter and leaned it against our cabinets with the back facing me to make this step easy and fast.
10-Once all of the excess is taped to the back, flip the board around and make sure everything is glued down.
11-Lay out jewelry to see how it will look when you add the nails.
12-Nail in 1″ brass nails to hang jewelry from; you can also use the screw-in hooks for this step–they’re great for hanging jewelry!
This project would be great for a photo both or a backdrop for a photo station – it’s cheap and easy!