Thursday, November 20

how to host a beaujolais nouveau celebration // entertaining

every year, under french law, on the third thursday of november, beaujolais nouveau wine is released at 12:01am. celebrations are had all across the globe to celebrate the release of this red wine produced in france. i was given the chance by Georges Duboeuf Wines to plan a fete (how fitting) and show how i would celebrate the 2014 release… which is today! a party celebrating wine? i'm in.

my inspiration was a night of indulgence. i wanted to fill the table with meats and treats to pick at through the night as you sipped on your new bottle of wine. as the wine is released just after midnight, the color palette of black and white with a splash of metallics was the perfect choice.

all of the snacks were laid out buffet style, super casual.

a basket of bread was set out to pair with the meat, fruit or just eat with butter. i whipped up 3 butter flavors and set those out as well. i mixed in fresh chives, thyme and rosemary in each.

small vials of glitter were set out for guests to celebrate with as the time approached to pop the cork on their new bottle of wine!

had painted wine quotes were placed around the table for guests to take home as favors.

today is nouveau day, so break out a bottle and celebrate! i'll be trying my bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau tonight…  pretending i'm enjoying this fete somewhere in france;)

i have my share of wine prints, so i thought i would giveaway this set away to you guys! there are 3 total, 5" x 5" on watercolor paper. frame them, give 2 away (holidays are here!) or display them on your bar cart. to enter, leave a comment and share your favorite wine, don't forget to leave your email so i can contact you if you win. i'm always looking for new favorites! i will pick a winner next friday, the 28th.

this post was made possible by Georges Duboeuf Wines and One2One Network. all ideas and opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the brands that keep a fabulous fete going, especially the wine makers ;)

Wednesday, November 19

getting organized for holiday vacations with intel // lifestyle

almost every november we take a vacay to get away for thanksgiving. and every year i think i am going to plan better for it, but it continues to be a stressful week leading up. with less than a week to go (we leave monday!) i decided to put my new intel tablet to use and get myself organized for our getaway! i was asked to be part of the intel tablet crew and use this guy as needed to make life easier with everything from playing my favorite music while working away, or answering emails from an app.
i decided it was going to be my work device. mostly because i knew i couldn't get text messages on it and i am refusing to load instagram… my number one distraction. i keep it in my office to check orders, answer all of my emails, listen to our free music from our amazon prime subscription, and do a ton of google searches when looking for inspiration or answers. it really has helped me stay on track, even if i do feel a little anxiety with my phone sitting in another room!
but back to the vacay! this may sound strange, but i always start my packing plan with a little inspiration. so this week i started pinning some things to get me going on my packing.

i've been gravitating towards neutrals this year which has made it easy to pack for quick trips. black white and grey go with everything! but i'll be adding a few pops. we are going to hawaii after all and that calls for a little color. so after i pooled my inspiration images, i began to collect my necessities. not usually clothes, that's obvious, but accessories and gadgets i know i will need and use on the trip.

these things are always in my bag:
- a book for the plane, airport and beach
- notepads for jotting down ideas while in the plane or relaxing
- the best new gadget for pics when ryan and i are on a vacay alone! this thing with it's bendy arms will attach to anything and holds your phone.
- a large hat. always.
- a small bag that fits in my carryon and works when we are at our destination for going out
- lollia hand lotion. this stuff smells amazing
- my tablet because i can never completely disconnect ;)

next, onto packing! i picked out what i new i definitely wanted to wear and paired each with appropriate accessories, glasses, shoes, etc. i used my tablet to store images of the combos so i can easily unpack, keep them together in our condo, and reduce any time in the hotel room… all time in hawaii must be spent somewhere outdoors with a mai tai! here are some of my favorites i can't wait to wear.

and finally, there is a long list of things that will need to be done before i leave. my goal is to always leave my laptop at home, so i'm using evernote on my tablet to mark things off through the week and make sure i am good to go monday morning. you can also take pictures directly from the app into your note which was perfect for outfit planning!

dedicating one place (or device!) to keeping me organized for our trip has actually helped me more than i thought. i'm not scrambling for notepads, running to the computer for pinterest, and it even got me packed way in advance.

how do you guys plan for a getaway?

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Tuesday, November 18

quick popcorn bar // holiday entertaining

lots and lots of entertaining opportunities are going to be presenting themselves soon! friendsgiving, thanksgiving, holiday parties, white elephant parties, nye parties, cocktail parties… the list goes on. so you're going to need some ideas for quickly preparing for your guests. a snack that just does not get enough love at parties is popcorn. i've tried it a few times, but it's always confusing or messy. i set up popcorn in closed glass jars (to keep it fresh) and guests thought it was decor. i put it in a bowl and they just grab a handful leaving SO much left over. so this year, try a pre-packaged popcorn bar! buy (or make) a few different flavors, add your touch to the bag. done.

i painted the flavors on the fronts of the bags. you can label each bag like this, or just make signs and line the bags up behind that.

fill each bag with a different flavor. i used the holiday flavors from gaslamp popcorn, pumpkin spice pie, holiday cookie and apple crumble pie. 

i taped them up with a little washi tape and added a sprig from a fern.

it only took a few minutes and will even dress up your table a bit depending on the colors and embellishments you use on the bags. what are your go to ideas for quick entertaining?

[ popcorn ℅ gaslamp popcorn co ]

Monday, November 17

a girls craft night + wine tasting with uproot wines // holiday entertaining

it's never an easy task to get friends, or even just the girls, together with everyones crazy schedules. add in the fact that the holidays are here? forget it. so i wanted to take advantage of the calm before the storm (thanksgiving and christmas) and have the girls over for some holiday crafting. but let's be honest, it's mostly about the wine, snacks and chatting more than what we take home at the end of the night.
for this get together, i partnered with uproot wines to take the spread a step further. we set up a selection of their wines to taste and one of the sampler gift sets to pair with their sips.

the first thing that caught my eye with uproot was their fantastic branding and labels they applied to each bottle. not only were they just plain cool, the color blocked labels show the flavors that you might taste in each bottle. the bottles came with these small cards that explained those notes which were the perfect way to get the convo between us girls started about the wine. 

the spreads from this skillet sampler were set out with plenty of bread and cheeses. usually i'll take things out of the container and put into something that goes with my table decor, but these containers didn't disappoint. i loved the labeling and letting the girls talk about each of the unconventional flavors (which were all delicious!). uproot partnered with skillet street food to put this set together and offer as a gift set with some of their wine. this would be the perfect gift for that foodie/wine lover in your life.

since this was a mid-week, after work get together, decor was simple. i always add some fresh greenery to liven things up (especially at night!). candlelight is a must. i created a fresh arrangement with my typical blooms from trader joes. and scattered a few snacks on the table with the craft supplies.

i love my kraft rolls (shared some other ideas here) and used them for placemats on the crafting table. i added each girls name and a few glasses for tasting + water.

we crafted up some felt boxes inspired by the labeling on uproot's bottles. i also set out some fun tags and embellishments to add on the girls boxes. the goal was to prep a few things to make holiday gifting easier!

and a girls night is never complete without a few goodies. uproot sent the girls these fun little wine totes (which will get SO much use taking bottles of wine to dinner parties this season). the only concern my friends had was how they were going to get their bags back from the hostess if they brought wine over in them;)
i added in a small notepad for wine notes, a stamp and mini notecard set for holiday hostess gifts and these chalkboard bottle tags from my shop.

let the tasting begin!

the table got real messy. real quick.

the girls went home with a few fun ways to wrap up their presents… and an introduction to their fave new wine. i ended up really loving the wine tasting factor added in. it gave us something fun to talk and learn about in addition to our craft. it was a great way to kick off the holiday season!

interested in hosting your own? our selection was a good one, we tried the sauvignon blanc, rose, grenache blanc, grenache and cabernet sauvignon. my favorite? the grenache! uproot is also giving you guys a great deal if you need wine for your own parties or gifting. use the code fabulous to receive 15% off your purchase through 12.31.2014

[ this post was sponsored by uproot wines. all ideas, opinions and images are my own. thank you for supporting the brands that keep a fabulous fete going! ]