Bee’s Holiday Party Check List

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.
HolidayCheckList-beelifeblog(2)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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

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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!

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National Prosecco Day – Easy Recipe

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!
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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!
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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!

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3 Party Planning Hacks – Baby Shower Ed.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!

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Granny’s Whiskey Sours – The Recipe

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with my fellow bee readers.  Before I share this with you all, I have to give you some of the history, why this recipe is so sacred and why it’s so fricken good. And also, I’m sharing this with you because it’s still summer despite what the rest of the social world seems to think!
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Urban legend has it, this is my great-grandma’s recipe – it’s unclear whether this was a family staple, or a staple that was also shared at the bar (Marty’s) they owned in St. Louis near Anheuser-Busch.  Helen was born September 11, 1911, she was the woman who told you to ear your crust otherwise you’ll have long saggy ear lobs, like she did (although, I’m pretty sure they were from the clip-on earrings she rocked) the woman that also smiled, was always dealing cards and laughing.  This recipe is so detailed and specific that you must follow the rules and directions to a tee, or you will mess up the whole thing!  The most important rule to remember is 1-to-1-to-1.

What You’ll Need:
– Ten High Whiskey
– Frozen Lemonade Mix
– Water
– Maraschino Cherries
– Ice

Step-by-Step:
1. Dump your frozen lemonade mix into the blender.  Measure out your whiskey by filling up the empty lemonade canister, pour into blender over top frozen mix.  Fill up empty lemonade canister with water and pour over top.
2. Blend up, until nicely mixed together.
3. Over rocks, in a scotch glass pour mixture – garnish with some cherry juice & cherries.

The recipe is so simple and so DELICIOUS, it’s one of the reasons I love it so much plus it was my Granny’s so that’s just the cherry on top (literally).  Another fun little story about my great grandparent’s bar near Anheuser, is a lot of the brewers and workers from the brewery would come for lunch or after work to the bar.  Which meant my mom and aunts as children had special visits to the Clydesdale barns and were even able to ride the horses!   This recipe is a staple at most gatherings and family events, whether it’s summer or we’re cooped up inside — we always cheers to ‘Granny’ after a batch is poured.

So go ahead and enjoy this delicious drink and don’t feel bad when you’re whipping up your second batch of sours.

Cheers!

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Latest Obsessions 08.18

Surprise, surprise – this month’s latest obsessions are mostly house obsessed, as I’ve got my eyes on the next prize and the projects just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger.  Beyond the house project bug, weekend getaways and trips or seasonal parties also have me heart-eyed with excitement.
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Basement Projects.  This is a two part.  Part one has been talked about off and on with B, but seriously discussions and planning have started to take place to build out a full-bathroom.  A good friend is a plumber, so with his expertise and help it doesn’t seem so daunting, yay!  Plus, it will add value to our home, making it 2-baths vs. 1-bath. Part two, is making the other space a bit more livable – we have a decent amount of space for storage, so the configuring has been playing out in my head and I think we can make it work.  The livable space might just be a bit industrial chic vs. completely finished basement. I love this article for some inspiration on finishing touches for your unfinished basement.

Seasonal Parties.  I can’t help but get excited for upcoming season parties, whether we’ll be hosting or attending – from the calm bake, to dare I say it…. Christmas?! Yup! I’m just looking forward to creating new memories and fun with family and friends.  And the only reason I have these on my mind, is because schedules get so crazy – we have to plan that far ahead especially if we want any chance of getting on our family/friends schedules!

Getaways.  Whether it’s a quick two-hour drive or a flight across the country, the travel bug continues and I’m excited to get out of town for a bit in the coming months.  With that, I can’t help but want to find the best brunch spots, shop for a few new outfits, and figure out other fun details to weave into the trip.  I’m trying not to wish these to come too soon though, because time has certainly been flying lately!

What’ve you been obsessing over? New house project or fashion trend – leave a comment, I want to know!

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Image Sources: Bathroom Inspiration Party Decor Inspiration Unfinished Basement

Champagne Cocktails for NYE

We are in the final countdown of days for 2016 so that means it’s time to start planning for your last night of the year.  And in my opinion, every occasion is an occasion for champagne, although some occasions call for a little more expensive champagne than others.  But there is always one occasion that demands champagne and that is New Year’s Eve!  I love champagne straight, all day long, but found some fun, easy cocktails to try for your NYE celebration for those who might want a little more “umph” to get the party started.
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Pomegranate Cranberry Champagne Punch – This cocktail will be tasty for everyone, and requires minimal ingredients beyond what you may already have stocked on your bar. Garnish this with some cranberries and mint leaves and you’ve got a fun drink to be enjoyed by all!

Champagne Punch – I love this punch because it has a bit more flavor paired with rum and pineapple juice for a little more exotic flair to kick off your evening of celebrating. Not to mention the recipe allows for a larger portion, perfect for the family party or night with friends.

Raspberry & Ginger Beer Champagne Cocktail – This cocktail is something even your honey won’t mind drinking… well maybe besides the pink color.  Mixing a taste of raspberry with ginger beer and champagne this cocktail is sure to be refreshing and light and perfect to enjoy the whole night!

If your like me and have a love for champagne, these are fun ways for other guests and friends to enjoy some bubbles as well – or even more simple buy some garnishes to throw in your bubbles – frozen cranberries, raspberries, blue berries, or even a strawberry garnish and some greenery to give your champagne a sophisticated look for your NYE party! And don’t forget to WOO when you pop that bottle!!

Cheers!

 

 

Photo sources linked above. 

Little Beers – The Recipe

Happy Friday!  Although I am not the biggest fan of shots, there are a few shots that I kind of love, the Little Beer included.
little-beer-recipe-the-bee-lifeIt may be silly, but Little Beers remind me of family and the holidays (because that’s what my family does at the holidays *smiles*). Not to mention it’s super smooth, a little sweet, they’re pretty darn cute, oh and super easy to make!

What You’ll Need:
– Shot or small tasting glasses
– Licor 43
– Cream

Step-by-Step:
1. Pour the Licor 43 into your shot glass, leave some room a the top.
2. Top off with cream – watch the magic happen!
3. Cheers, table tap, and enjoy!

If you have an upcoming holiday party or looking to spice up your family’s Christmas grab these two ingredients and it’ll be a hit – we can usually talk most of the aunts and cousins into these since they’re so delicious and smooth!

Cheers!!

5 Reasons To Host a Fall Party

If you don’t have an upcoming fall party planned, I highly recommend getting something in the books whether it’s later this month or into early November. And if you’re not convinced why you should be hosting a fall party… or that it can be SUPER easy, let me tell you how. reasons-to-host-a-fall-partyBrunch & Football – Throwing together a football brunch can be really easy too, with a magic thing called breakfast casserole (recipe to come)! Most of the prep for a breakfast casserole is the night ahead, so all you have to do the morning of is throw it in the oven.  Have a TV with football? Boom, turn it on and grab some mimosas or bloody mary makings and your set for a day of drinking, friends and football – check out our brunch last fall.

Chili – I’ll be sharing my mom’s delicious chili recipe (that I’ve adopted overtime) on an upcoming post.  But as long as you have a killer recipe, a box or two of cornbread and a crockpot, all you need to do is throw the ingredients together in the morning and by mid-afternoon or by dinner time you’ll have a delicious, easy to serve, low mess and matience dish for your guests!  Have some friends bring some beers and dessert and you’ve got a low key night. Light some candles, start a fire and pull out some games and you’ve got a fun night ahead of you.

Pumpkin Beers – Literally craft a party around pumpkins beers (or harvest blends).  Have your guests bring a six pack or two, and let the tasting begin.  You could even create score cards and a rating system for everyone to weigh in.

Breweries or New Spots –  Don’t want to host something at your house? Plan a gathering at a local pub or a new brewery with your favorites.  Not only will there be no mess to clean up at the end of the night, but you’ll be able to try something new or enjoy a fan favorite.  Then end the night with a bonfire back at your house!

Pie Baking – Have a girls afternoon and bake some pies! Pop open some wine or rose, share some recipes and bake some yummy pies or fall favorites to work out the kinks for upcoming holiday celebrations!

The summer’s are always so busy so try and catch-up with friends now before the holiday craze starts up again! You don’t need to be too elaborate or overthink your upcoming fall party, it can be easy, low key and affordable!

Hosting an upcoming fall party? Share your pictures or hacks with me on twitter or instagram @mmariebee.