1. Handmade Paper Lanterns – I have always loved the romantic, whimsical looks of paper lanterns hanging outside for twilight dinners and parties, but have never known how to recreate the look on my own. However, this post from Curbly has 5 fantastic options for making similar paper lanterns on your own, and they’re all adorable! I’m not sure which tutorial to try first…
2. Handmade Southern Wedding – Everything about this wedding seemed heartfelt, laid back, sentimental, and fantastically personal. With so many details from their flowers to the guest book could easily provide inspiration for your own wedding. And that dessert trunk; how cute can it get??
3. Hollywood – Summer movies have always been a family favorite, but they’re generally confined to the couch or the movie theater. However, after seeing this backyard movie party on design*sponge this week, I can’t get thoughts of hosting something like this out of my head. The great snacks and vintage-looking decor make this celebration one of the best I’ve seen this summer.
You’re almost done with the holiday rush when you suddenly realize you agreed to throw this years New Year’s Eve party. You’re already having to put in extra time at work for everything you missed during the holidays and now you have to take the time to throw a party, too? Here are some ideas for hosting a great party with little time and effort:
- Invite: Create a New Year’s invitation to invite your friends, Cardstore.com will stamp and send them for you.
- Activity: Print out or make your own cards with fill in the blanks, such as “The skill I want to learn this year is ___” or “The good deed I want to do this year is ―――,” or get creative with other New Year’s resolution ideas. Everyone can fill them out, then take turns reading them out loud and guess which one belongs to who.
- Appetizers: Stick to finger foods. Trader Jo’s and other grocery stores have a wide variety of hummus, dips, cheeses, crackers, nuts, and chips and you can even get pre-cut veggies.
- Entrée: Your guests will already be full from appetizers and won’t want a huge dinner, so stick to something hearty, but bite-sized.
- Dessert: Ask everyone to bring their favorite dessert. If you’d prefer to make it yourself, try making ice-cream sandwiches. Make your favorite cookie dough in advance when you have time, freeze it, and pull it out and put the cookies in the oven the day of. Scoop some ice cream in a bowl, add a cookie on top, and you’ll have a delicious dessert.
- Drinks: Provide the champagne then ask everyone to bring their own favorite drinks and mixes.
- Music: Don’t forget to create a playlist in advance. Make one full of your favorite songs or one that’s New Year’s themed. If you’re not a huge music lover, ask that friend with the gigantic iTunes library to make one for you.
- For more details and inspiration, check out Real Simple‘s tips on how to throw an easy New Year’s party.
This year start preparing for Thanksgiving with this all purpose tool set from Williams-Sonoma. These kitchen tools are perfect for prepping food in the kitchen and then using to serve and make the Thanksgiving table beautiful. Also a great housewarming gift that anyone will be thankful to receive!
- Brined Roast Turkey from Williams-Sonoma
- Bacon Smashed Potatoes from Epicurious
- Pumpkin, Corn, and Lemongrass Soup from Gourmet
- Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette from Bon Appetit
- Carmel Pumpkin Pie from Gourmet
- Cranberry and Orange Relish from Real Simple
- Baby Winter Squash with Spiced Orange-Current Stuffing from Bon Appetit
- Mixed-Mushroom and Tarragon Gravy from Bon Appetit
- Pumpkin Cake with Sage Ice Cream and Pumpkin Cherry Compote from Gourmet
With Thanksgiving on the way, I’ve been leafing through my favorite cooking magazines to put together the menu for this year. Above are some of my old favorites and some new recipes I can’t wait to try out!
Even though Halloween has finally come to an end, I’m thrilled to still find the autumn spirit around. These adorable Covered Pumpkin Mugs from Williams-Sonoma are the perfect example of continuing seasonal fun, and are useful too! Anyone can make themselves a cup of spiced tea or use them on the Thanksgiving table to keep dishes warm while finishing up in the kitchen.
As sad as I am that Halloween will be over this weekend, I’m thrilled that pumpkins will continue to be around through Thanksgiving. Not only am I a huge fan of decorating the house with baby pumpkins and gourds, I also love the flavor and can’t wait to try out some of these recipes after I’m done using them for decoration!
Halloween Greeting Card from Great Arrow Graphics at Cardstore.com
Pumpkin Costume from Target
Toasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe at Simply Recipes
Pecan Pumpkin Butter Pie Recipe from Williams-Sonoma
Jack-O-Lantern Gift Bag at Papyrus
Cinderella Heirloom Box at Disney Store
Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery
It may still be mid-October, but I’m already thinking about planning a Halloween Party. After the annual stop at the pumpkin patch and grabbing some decorations at Target, I’ll finally be able to start decorating. Now all I need to do is figure out what to dress up as!
Halloween Invitation by Tillia Press on Cardstore.com
Halloween Brownie Pops from Williams-Sonoma
Lantern Lights on Real Simple
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown from Amazon.com
Inflatable Ghosts from Target
Spider Lights from Target
Halloween Candles from Pottery Barn
One of the reasons I love fall is that I have something to do every weekend, football! Whether or not you like the sport itself, anyone can enjoy a tailgate of food, drinks, and talk with good family and friends. Above are some of my favorite things that help make for a smooth and relaxing tailgate, assuming the team you’re rooting for wins!
Jersey at NFL Shop
Picnic Basket from Williams-Sonoma
Barbecue from Target
Red and White Checkered Table Cloth from Sur-la-Table
Cal Flag from Cal Student Store
Drink Cozy from Cal Student Store
Ohio State Hat from Ohio State Student Store
Apron from Anthropologie
Whether throwing a Halloween party for friends or bringing treats in for your son or daughter’s class, these adorable Halloween cookies from Williams-Sonoma are the perfect treat to entertain. Not only will they delight with their spicy seasonal flavors, but also with their fun shapes and bright colors.
I’m pretty much obsessed with this California cutting board from Etsy shop aheirloom. This would make such a pretty edition to a wine and cheese party filled with only California-made products. I love celebrating and supporting local products (see locavore, the Oxford word of the year in 2007!) , and this is the perfect way to show it off. This would make a great gift for the foodie in your life! The shop features other states as well, so everyone can show some home state lovin’.