It’s no secret around the bee life that I love planning and hosting parties! We’ve slowly started a tradition of hosting a Christmas Party each year, that started in our old apartment hosting a Christmas Ale themed shin-dig and has turned into a larger party now that we have a home to entertain in.
With hosting a Christmas party nearly 4-years in a row (last year we substituted B’s 30th surprise party in place of it) — I have a lot of the fundamentals down that are my go-to party planning check-list.
- Simple but inclusive menu. For our parties, I really like to stick with the basics and easy snackable items. Like a nice charcuterie board, pizza, peanuts, popcorn, and chips and dippy items. Also work to be conscious of dietary restrictions, since I’m an offender of that and have a few friends who are meatless.
- Don’t forget the booze. We always like to have a variety of beverages for our guests available, as everyone is always good about BYOBing. So we always have plenty of options and variety for everyone!
- Something Sweet. It is important to ALWAYS have dessert – especially something chocolatey. I love having m&ms around in little dishes and then other yummy treats like brownies, cookies and even a few Christmas cookies if I really get my butt in gear. Let’s be honest — I’m going to be drinking champagne and eating desserts.
- Party Games. With our holiday party, I like to bring in some of my family traditions and games to our friends. As we’ve had these parties over the years, games have been requested and even demanded and it’s fun to see these new tradition started. We even do a white elephant ornament exchange!
I’ll be a busy bee elf next week getting ready for the party, especially with Thanksgiving falling so late in the year — our house is not yet Christmased. So it will be fun getting everything set come December 1st for our party! Do you have any party planning hacks that you swear by? Do you stick to the same general game plan when you host parties or switch it up each time? Leave me a comment below, telling me your hacks!
My love for leopard print has increasingly grown over the last few years. I started my obsession small with a muted-grey long leopard print sweater off Amazon and then more recently a more traditional printed cardigan from Marshall’s that was a steal for $12. So this fall, Leopard Print is fricken hot and EVERYWHERE I turn. I want it all. So, to help serve all of our Leopard Print obsessions this fall fashion season, here are some quick links to shop with high-to-low price points for all those leopard print must haves!
OK, Let’s Splurge! You know, those pieces that you’d buy instantly if you had $300 just laying around? There are two ways of splurging; (1) just do it or (2) wait until it goes on sale! I am usually the ladder but do believe in treating yourself every now and again. So if you want to splurge on leopard – Anthropologie and Kate Spade have endless options for all your leopard print fixes. I love this Anthro Georgia Turtleneck Sweather with the fatter print, but they also have smaller prints with pops of color, pants and even a cashmere leopard print sweater tee… *jaw drops* …like anything you could ever want is there, which pretty much goes for Kate Spade too.
Let’s Be Real. Since we just can’t buy $150 leopard print sweaters every other day, let’s look at a few pieces that are a bit more on the everyday level. So Target, Old Navy and Nordstrom Rack are more real speed. I first spotted this Who What Wear Crewneck Sweater at Target a month back, and haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since and at $32.99 it’s a fair price point. These slip on sandals from Nordstrom Rack are a good transition from summer into fall, and they’re leopard print! Finally, I love this muted oversized jacket from Old Navy, it can be casual, but also screams power suit.
Bring on the deals! These pants from Old Navy, were also spotted mid-summer when I just wasn’t ready to fully transition into fall – well guess what they’re on sale now! So go and add them to your shopping cart and maybe order another pattern too. Amazon Fashion has started booming and pricing has started to get more competitive, but there are still a few steals that are hard to pass up, especially when there are free returns. I sort of love this simple tee with a fun pop of leopard with the pocket square for a little more understated way to bring that pop of sass. The last deal to shop is this fun long sleeve leopard dress for $20 – it looks so comfy and will transition nicely into colder months with leggings and booties.
Literally everywhere I turn, I was in Kohl’s and leopard print everything – then Anthropology popped up in my Insta feed with those beautiful leopard sweaters. So that is what I have been obsessing over lately and what I’ll continue obsessing over this fall fashion season and getting a few fabulous leopard pieces to add to my growing collection. What is your next leopard fashion purchase?
It’s National Prosecco Day! This day might be just as exciting as my birthday or being able to eat cake – I mean cake and Prosecco? Yes, please! And although I tend to drink Prosecco like the next Prohibition is coming – I finally tried drinking my Prosecco with a twist that always seemed a little trendy but always peaked my curiosity. What is it you ask? A popsicle in my Prosecco!
What You’ll Need:
– A bottle of your favorite Prosecco – I love Ruffino or Freixenet
– Popsicles of Choice – I used Outshine Fruit Bars Mango & Pomegranate
I felt the flavor choice was a big part of my decision, because I wanted it to pair well with the bubbles, so just think of potential mimosas juice flavors; Strawberry, Raspberry, Mango, Pomegranate, or Pineapple. Once you have your Prosecco and popsicle it’s time to pop that bottle! Pro-Tip: Don’t fill your glass up with the bubbles, when you add in the popsicle it’ll fizz more and takes up some room – I recommend filling a little more than half way with the bubbles, if not get ready to take a quick sip to save the overflow!
The Final Verdict: The addition of the popsicle was actually refreshing and had great taste, I especially liked it with the Mango flavor! I was actually surprised at how good it tasted – because I’m of course a fan of Prosecco on it’s own. And let’s be honest, it’s just a nice summery treat!
So cheers to all my fellow Prosecco lovers who celebrate National Prosecco Day any day!
This past weekend was my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I was lucky to help with the planning and was in charge of the decor. I love a good party, and I love a good party with a theme. The theme for K’s shower was Woodland, and as I worked through the decor it quickly morphed to a Woodland Glam theme especially once we learned the baby is a girl. So instead of breaking everything down, I wanted to share a few hacks I did for this baby shower that made a statement and helped pull everything together.
Framed Art: One easy way to help decorate and pull the theme through was with framed art of little Woodland animals with flower crowns. Since Woodland was also K’s baby room theme, I wanted to get prints framed that could work for the shower and that could then be hung in the nursery for room decor! It was a fun conversation piece during the shower as party guests spotted them throughout the house – plus I think N&K really liked them. I purchased 6 Baby Animals with Flowers Crowns and these 11×17 frames from Michaels Craft Store.
DIY Floral Letter: This was another piece that was used as decor at the shower and will now find a home in the nursery as well. The muted colors that were picked out play into that glam, Woodland and romantic feel. Not to mention this was super easy and an affordable DIY that made a huge statement as part of the main centerpiece in the opening room as guests came into the baby shower. Read the full Floral Letter DIY how-to by click here.
Dessert Table: A dessert table has been my must-have staple for all the parties that I plan. This is an easy way to make a great statement, while having a lot of yummy treats, lots of options and it’s another way to help pull in a theme. There are a few pieces to mix and match for your dessert table, my go-to’s are at least one cake, maybe two depending on the size, cake pops and chocolate covered pretzels. Designed sugar cookies are another great addition to a dessert table too! Displaying everything at various levels helps give another wow factor to your sweet treats and finishing off with greens and a table runner pull it all together.
A few other must-haves at parties are balloons and the way we pull this off is by buying those personal sized helium tanks – these make it so easy and transportation a breeze. Depending the occasion, fresh flowers are always a nice touch especially if it’s a baby or bridal shower. I also love making sure napkins, plates and glassware are on theme and compliments to the entire party. I love how everything came together for K’s special day, it was exhausting pulling it all together, but definitely worth it!
It’s time to step-up your s’more game, and I’ll tell you just how to do it with my ultimate summer s’more board. It’s the charcuterie board of s’mores and it’s only going up from here in the wow, mouth watering, #goals department. Don’t worry the only thing that doesn’t change is that delicious perfectly toasted marshmallow. So whether this is for a girl’s night, date night or low-key hang with the neighbors the way you eat s’mores is forever about to change – and you’re going to wow your guests in the process. Oh, and don’t forget the bubbles!
It’s officially June! Which mean’s Father’s Day is coming right up on June 16! To help pick out the perfect gift for dad, I’ve pulled together and sourced some great deals that will also save you some money (win-win) while making a big impact and stealing dad’s heart. Although it’s good to spoil dad, remember to work within your budget and do what you can – it’s the thought that counts, but please if you only remember or can get one thing, just get Dad a card and write him a sweet and thoughtful note.
BOGO Power Tools: Home Depot is having a deal with Ryobi power tools – if you buy two batteries for $99 you get a free Ryobi power tool! Which are on average either $69 or $79 for the free power tool, this is a really great deal considering you’d send more than $99 if you bought the power tool and then the battery. Win days hear with some new equipment for his workspace. This deal ends June 19 – so plenty of time to order in time for Dad.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner – Sunday, May 12 – so if your in need of help on ideas to spoil mom this year, you’re in luck! I created this gift guide with a variety of ideas that can stand alone or be paired together to wow-mom. From self care to home decor, to just because – you’ll be pampering and spoiling mom with these simple and personalized, yet easy gifts!
Self-Care: Gardening season is here, which means extra hand washing and dirt! Gear mom up with these fashionable floral gardening gloves from Williams Sonoma under $20 (on sale!) And whether it’s self care after gardening or excessive hand-washing from home projects, Aveda’s hand relief cream is a must-have for anyone you love (and yourself!) it’s so luxurious – not to mention it’s the best hand healer, which is why it’s one of my daily essentials! Lastly, spoil mom with a new robe, because you know the one she has was around when you still lived at home (eek!) – Anthro has a ton of beautiful options that’ll make mom feel like a million bucks and make her want to donate that old robe, ASAP. <Shoppable links below>
Home Decor: Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand line at Target has THE perfect mug for mom, it’s simple and the perfect reminder to mom that you love her (because it says ‘Love You, Mom’) – especially if you can’t see or talk to her everyday! Stay on the Chip & Jojo train and get mom Joanna’s newest book Homebody is the perfect guide for anyone who loves decorating or looking for design inspiration for their home!
Just Because. The Anthro Block Letter Monogram necklace is so simple and so elegant, whether it’s a first or last name initial, mom will absolutely love this – it’s an easy and thoughtful gift that can work for anyone on your list! You can’t forget a card for mom! Go homemade or local for a personalized touch. This card from Boundary & Thorn is the perfect mix of florals and watercolors – mom will want to frame it!
Shop the Gift Guide: Williams Sonoma Gardening Gloves | Target Glass Jar Candle | Homebody Book by Joanna Gaines | Anthropologie Block Letter Monogram Necklace | Aveda Hand Relief Cream | Love You, Mom Mug from Target | Anthropologie Flora Robe | Boundary & Thorn Mother’s Day Car
The best part is you can even pair a few of these items together as little gift sets, or with other different pieces: like the Anthro Robe with a spa gift card or bottle of mom’s favorite wine. The coffee mug could be paired with mom’s favorite coffee beans or k-cups, and the gardening gloves and hand cream would go great with a flower pot and fun flower for mom to plant! But remember, beyond just spoiling your mom – make sure you tell her you love her. xox
Guys, guess what! Spring is practically here which means summer is right around the corner, which means patio season is coming soon! And with all the daydreaming about warm days – which we’re probably all doing – I can’t help but dream about those nights hosting dinners on the patio or even just enjoy a light weekend brunch with B. It’s truly one of my favorite things! So, I went hunting for some more fun pieces to incorporate into patio season for dining and entertaining that can stand alone or mix in with other fun patterns and prints of existing pieces. Here are a few different looks and styles for you to shop for this summer! Spoiler: I may just be shopping all of these.
Bright & Modern: Can you say Hello Don Draper? These pops of color are so fun especially in the summer and these modern twists on vintage looks are so fun to incorporate into your outdoor serve ware this summer! I’m also a firm believer that having super cute acrylic and plastic cups for fun cocktails or lemonade especially from a safety perspective on patios!
Shop the West Elm Diamond Colored Acrylic | Crate & Barrel Dua Yellow Melamine Plate
All American: From Memorial Day – to the 4th of July – to Labor Day these can be a staple all summer long! I have lemon patterned enamel plates from Pottery Barn from a previous season – and I absolutely love them, they’re durable and fairly heavy duty for an outdoor set and not just flimsy plastic that’ll blow away! Plus they have blue with white stars cork placemats – yay!
Shop these enamel plates from Pottery Barn
Classic & Colorful: I’m slightly obsessed with these Modern Melamine Dinnerware plates especially the grapefruit, silver pine and citrus yellow – they’re in my shopping chart and they’re currently on sale! I like these too because they can be a grounding element while being able to pull in some fun printed plates and patterns. The sleek design are definitely functional and the glasses look fancy while still being outdoor friendly!
Shop West Elm Fluted Acrylic Glassware | West Elm Modern Melamine Dinnerware
Honorable Mentions: Last year I was completely obsessed with all of the Opalhouse dinnerware, and I’ve been admittedly keeping an eye out for this seasons prints and patterns – which are finally out! They also have some vintage plastic glassware in a variety of colors that are perfect for all seasons. Another outdoor dining essential is having a flatware caddy that is easy to back-up inside and portable outside – I bought a metal one last year and it’s been clutch even for indoor entertaining, now I just need a few more styles!
Shop the Honorable Mentions: West Elm Summertime Plates | Target Floral Salad Plate | Macrame Table Runner | West Elm Rattan Flatware Caddy | Target Floral Embossed Plastic Tumbler
The fun part about entertaining outdoors is that you can mix a variety of textures, styles and materials (like glass and plastics) to pull in a warm and organic look for your guests… without looking like you spent the true number of hours you did working on your tablescape! I’m ready for you summer – but don’t go away too soon once you get here.
For Easter brunch this year I made a new dish, that I’ve had at my aunts but this was new to my immediate family and for me! So it was a perfect time to make it for them. Plus, it’s an overnight casserole, so all your prep is the night before and all you have to do morning of is pop it in the oven – SO EASY! Not to mention, this is SOOOO good, especially if you love some breakfast sweets.
Prep Time: 20-minutes
Cook Time: 45-minutes
What You’ll Need:
– 10-12 slices of white bread (I used 10)
– 5-6 eggs (I used 6)
– 1/2 cup of margarine aka 1-stick
– 1.5 cups of brown sugar
– 1-teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1.5 cups of milk (I used almond milk)
– 9×13 baking pan
– Maple Syrup for serving
1. Items to prep ahead: (a) Melt your stick butter (b) Beat your 6-eggs into a bowl, add your milk and stir well (c) Mix your brown sugar and cinnamon into a smaller bowl.
2. Now that you have all the main fixings prepped, take your 9×13 baking pan and pour your melted butter across the bottom – from there fill the pan with your first layer of bread. Only 4-full pieces fit in my pan, so I cut one in half to fill in the little spot left.
3. Sprinkle about half of your cinnamon and brown sugar mix overtop the first layer.
4. Add your second layer of bread, I adjusted where my smaller pieces were from the bottom, just because!
5. Pour your egg and milk mixture over all of the bread.
6. Sprinkle the rest of your cinnamon and brown sugar mixture overtop.
7. Cover and refrigerate over night!
8. Good morning! Pre-heat your oven to 350 and bake covered for 30-minutes.
9. After 30-minutes, uncover and bake for 15-minutes or until set and toppings are browned.
10. Serve with maple syrup & enjoy!
The next time I make this dish, I have a few other ideas on how to step this up to the next level, adding in apples in between the layers for an apple french toast, or even having a strawberry drizzle to put on top before serving and eating. Doesn’t that sound even more delish?! But seriously, if you love a good sweet in the morning – this is so easy and so delicious!