Thursday, December 29

|| le holidays ||

1. i cannot believe we have one more day of 2011
2. i can't believe how much we fit into the last week. it felt like a month
3. i still have to make my list of goals and resolutions! the best/hardest part of Jan. 1

i took far too many pictures last week. so here are a few of my faves showing how we spent our holidays!

|| new shoes from old navy | louis | how i wrap | chalk calligraphy ||

|| yummy cocoa | my fave nail color | decorating my dog, poor dog | mini cinnamon rolls ||

|| finally! our save the dates | an etsy find | new swan ornament | traditional xmas morning mimosas ||

have you compiled your goals and resolutions?

ps:: don't forget to enter this fabulous giveaway i'm hosting!! it'll be perfect to achieve your "make more cocktails this year" goal ;)

Wednesday, December 28

// herb favor diy //

first, let me say wow and thanks for all of your entries to the giveaway! you guys have some tasty cocktail ideas. if you haven't entered, you have plenty of time.. until sunday night!

so, i've had this favor idea in the vault for a while and finally got to making it this week. it's super simple, super inexpensive, but with big impact.

i took a mini terra cotta pot. a mini candlestick. painted them up. hot glued them together. and added my herb of choice! i think they make a chic table accessory as well if you don't have a reason for favors any time soon.

you can also whip up some labels with any extra fabric, paper, and a toothpick.

i am selfishly keeping these. but they have definitely inspired me for our upcoming wedding!
keep enjoying your holidays, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! perfect for all of your 2012 entertaining needs.

Monday, December 26

{ raspberry mist cocktail and giveaway! }

welcome back from the holiday excitement! hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. today i'm sharing a cocktail with you that i mixed up myself. i may not be a mixologist, but i think i have a winner here.

as a frequent entertainer. i like to make something special and specific for each occasion. usually, it's something super simple. so when sierra mist asked me to mix up a yummy cocktail, i thought i would step it up... for me at least:)

i created a "raspberry mist"! kind of a spin off of a margarita using similar ingredients. adding the sierra mist in gave it a more crisp and refreshing taste though. here's what you'll need:

[tequila, i used this, a tequila liqueur, so tasty]
[triple sec]
[lime juice]
[frozen raspberries]

muddle about 5 frozen raspberries with 1 1/2 oz. tequila

add 1 oz. triple sec, 1 oz. cointreau, 1 oz. lime juice, shake it up...
before you pour, mix up some sugar and salt and dip the rim of your glass in it. i loved the sweet and salty flavor this added.
and finally...

top with about 3 oz. of sierra mist natural, drink and enjoy

what's that you say? you don't have a fancy shaker, glasses, etc? well you're in the right place! sierra mist has generously put together this amazing HOLIDAY GIFT PACK that you can win!

if you win, you will receive your own shaker, drink garnish/sugars, party glasses AND a $50 AMEX gift card! to enter, leave a comment sharing your most creative cocktail or mocktail recipe!
so easy:)

You have until next Sunday night to enter! I will pick a winner, at random, on Monday, January 2nd.

Happy Holidays!
Can't wait to hear your creative recipes!

[sierra mist provided product for use in recipes, all images and opinions are mine, mine, mine:)]

remember, you can check out sierra mist on facebook, they have an entire page just for sharing and finding recipes. i also shared a few last week, check them out here!

Friday, December 23

i'm off to bake cookies, rent christmas vacations, a christmas story, elf, and the grinch, and watch them as many times as i can before sunday, finish wrapping, pick out a fancy holiday outfit for a get together tomorrow, and attempt to find a dairy free egg nog (does that exist?).
i hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the holidays!

Thursday, December 22

inspiration // simplicity

a few of my pins from this week were screaming an obvious trend...

only 2 more shopping days! have you finished? i have a few more gift certificates to pick up today and i am done! i really do promise to start early next year;)

Wednesday, December 21

.. a shindig ..

let me start this post by apologizing for the photo quality! i never understand how people get such amazing pictures of their parties held in the evening. i use a flash, they look washed out. i don't use a flash, they look yellow. ugh. i could not throw a party and not share it though:) so bare with me.

saturday ryan and i hosted our first annual white elephant party. i absolutely loved it and will definitely be having one every year. surprisingly, everyone was such a good sport and put effort into finding the most hilarious gifts.

i love a good champagne cocktail. and usually what ends up happening is i have to make them all night. so i got smart. i made a menu! we displayed 3 recipes for cocktails. the kir royale, the traditional champagne cocktail and a poinsettia.

striped paper straws, tinsel drink stirrers, fringe and a striped runner completed the look of our bar.

to adorn the table of sweets, i made some yarn poms and pinned them to the ceiling to create "snow".

luckily all of the desserts were devoured and i didn't have them in the house the next day:)
this year i wanted to go the easy route. i made cookie sandwiches with frosting in the middle, mini cinnamon rolls, dipped marshamallows, dipped pretzels and a few small jars of candy. OH, and the most delicious popcorn anyone had ever had. I used this recipe but took the chocolate out.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18

[ frost bite or meet me at the mist-letoe? ]

hello friends! how was everyones weekend? lot's of holiday parties and festivities i hope.
today i have the pleasure of sharing a fabulous cocktail with you guys and gals. Sierra Mist Natural provided all of the goods to mix up some deliciousness for me, friends, and family.
lately, in an effort to prepare for our wedding... and just lead a more healthy lifestyle, i've been cutting out (as much as possible) the "junk" that used to cloud our diet. preservatives, artificial flavors/sweeteners/etc, anything that is too far from natural. SO, when i had the chance to make cocktails (always a favorite) with a natural main ingredient (my new favorite), it was a no brainer. sierra mist natural is made with real sugar, has no artificial ingredients and is made with 100% natural flavoring. yum.

now, for the good stuff. how to make this festive and refreshing cocktail!
Frost Bite Cocktail

// Ingredients //
. 3 oz. sierra mist natural .
. 1 oz. blue curacao .
. 1 oz. coconut vodka . [i subbed in plain]
. fresh mint .
. 1 oz. pineapple juice .
. fresh blueberries . [optional, i omitted]

in a shaker filled with ice, mix your vodka, pineapple juice, blue curacao, fresh mint [i used about 5 leaves] and blueberries.
shake, shake, shake...

and strain into your glass

top with le secret ingredient... Sierra Mist Natural

and voila! a fabulously, sparkling, holiday cocktail!

you can garnish with the blueberries, i chose to thread a few sprigs of mint onto a fancy cocktail stirrer. you could do the same with the blueberries too!

and you don't think i would just make a cocktail for myself in the middle of the day right? ok, well i totally would, but this time i decided to share the wealth and get the opinions of my friends and family. aren't they adorable hanging in their little ornaments? :) meet kristy, ryan, christie and steve. seasoned cocktail drinkers... they know a good one when they taste it.

we all concluded that this one was pretty darn good. so good in fact i was asked multiple times for refills. steve made a good point... when i told him what he was about to drink, he said he expected some sort of tropical mai tai, super sugary drink. but was pleasantly surprised how the sierra mist natural countered those flavors. kristy agreed and added that the bubbles made the cocktail much more refreshing than your average vodka cocktail and also blended the flavors together nicely. we all loved that not one ingredient stood out (which was what we expected at first glance of the ingredients).
survey says... fab, awesome, yummy, let's do this again next weekend.

But wait, there's more. How about a Meet me at the Mist-letoe... Martini?
All you need is
. 2 oz. Sierra Mist Natural .
. 1.5 oz. raspberry vodka .
. 3 leaves fresh basil .
. 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice .
. 1 oz. blueberry juice .

In a glass, muddle 2 basil leaves, lime juice, and add to a shaker with ice. Add your vodka, blueberry juice and shake away. top with sierra mist natural... pour, and garnish with the remaining basil leaf!

Anything with basil is a friend of mine.
so which sounds yummy to you? will you be trying the frost bite or mist-letoe?
either way. you're in for a treat!

and guess what? if you come check back in with me next week, you will have a chance to win a pretty awesome entertaining kit that sierra mist natural has put together for you!

if you're now in the cocktail mood and you need more ideas, head over to the sierra mist facebook page or follow them on twitter!

[this is a sponsored campaign. all product was provided by sierra mist natural. images and opinions are mine... and my friends and fam]

Thursday, December 15


i have a mountain of things to get to today. as usual.. because of my dear friend procrastination.
we finally have our first holiday party of the season tonight! and i just hate worrying about unfinished projects on a fun night out. this means i should probably go tackle that to do list instead of scanning pinterest and catching up on twitter. xo.

[image by me... of an ornament.. not on my tree:)]

Tuesday, December 13

// color break //

sure have been loving black lately.

[ ornament diy ]

oh, just another way to add some festive decor to your home or party with ornaments!
it's funny. i never buy ornaments with the intent of hanging them on our tree. they're usually for other projects like this!

all you need are some ornaments, washers, a hot glue gun, and seasonal greenery.
since i used clear ornaments, i put some beads as filler so you couldn't see the silver washer shining through. but you could also use painted, plastic, sparkly, or metallic ornaments in which case you wouldn't need the filler.

remove the ornament top

hot glue your washer on the bottom of the ornament

and your pretty much done. how easy is that?

now spruce away with your flowers or greenery.

boom. done. easy.
now enjoy:)

Monday, December 12

{ champagne grapes }

{image via sweet paul}

i'm absolutely in love with champagne grapes. they're mini after all.
i'm putting these on my list as we speak as they are a must for our champagne cocktail bar.
i just hope they're in season and i can find them at the one store around us that actually carries them. is anyone a grape connoisseur and know? :)

Friday, December 9

// have yourself a... //

I kind of miss the good old days when grandma would put so much tinsel on the tree you couldn't even see it any more. i love this picture from No Pattern Required. This is an actual picture from her grandparents house. not a staged and styled photo shoot:)

i think i've finally covered every inch and corner of our house with holiday decor. it only took a week. so now i'm moving onto party decor! on my list for the weekend and week to come is a photo back drop, drink stirrers, food picks to dress up our desserts, still contemplating favors... and much more i'm sure. once i start, i usually get inspired for many more decor pieces.

have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, December 8

{ sprucing }

we have this chandelier. i like it. it's a chandelier. how can you not like a chandelier? well... it's hanging on a ceiling that is like 20 feet high. (i really have no idea how high it is, but it's really high) this means it's a pain in the ars to ever hang a new one. so, i like to spruce it up once in a while.

i decided to hang some sparkly ornaments with bakers twine last night. i just love how the glitter sparkles at night and can not wait to light some candles under these for our holiday party!

The table is a work in progress. i'm working on some hand painted napkins. scouting the perfect candle sticks. and need to add a bit more color before it is complete.
but of course i will share that as well:)

Tuesday, December 6

|| the white elephant invitation ||

i have a problem.
i cannot just print an invite.
i MUST add something with glue, tape, or string.
our white elephant party invitation was no exception.

i found the most adorable miniature elephants online, painted them white... 

these were way more work than originally anticipated.
since printers don't print to the edge (it's also a possibility they do and i have no idea how to do it, please share if you know) i had to tape off each invite and hand paint.
each piece of confetti, punched and meticulously placed... to look random.
and 4 coats of paint later, perfectly glossy white elephants were hot glued as the final touch.
i think i might frame one i love them so much:)

small kraft bags and washi tape were used as "envelopes". i didn't want to suffocate the elephants in a regular envelope.

what do you think? i also bought a boat load of that pretty tinsel. can. not. wait. to make some party decor with it!

Monday, December 5

[ holiday party inspiration ]

i know you've heard everyone say it a million times. but i really can't believe it's already december. and almost a week in! i thought i could make time slow down a bit after leaving my "day" job. but now that i actually enjoy what i'm doing every day, the hours fly by!
but that is NOT what i'm posting about today. nor anything i can change:) so moving on.

ryan and i are hosting our first annual white elephant party! i'm super excited. it's our first party with a purpose... like not just a party to eat, drink... and eat and drink.
my inspiration for this shindig is red, tan and black & white stripes.

tomorrow. the invites!

Friday, December 2

gifting on a dime || day five:: customized cake plates

and last but not least... cake and/or appetizer plates!
i don't know about you, but plates, glasses and napkins are my kryptonite. i happen upon so many amazing deals that they just pile up in our closets. last years christmas plates are never good enough this year, which means LOTS of left overs.

i gave these a face lift with a porcelain pen. so easy to use, you can add whatever your creative little head can come up with. i'm a sucker for phrases. i'm much better at writing than drawing... so...

and why not wrap the plates up with a pretty tea towel? a great colorful touch you can add. and something they can keep and use rather than throwing in the trash as soon as they open your gift.

i hope you all enjoyed this week! and i hope i maybe even inspired some diy gifting ideas.
have a fabulous weekend.