Styling for Spring

I don’t know about you, but I am OVER this weather.  Being my first winter in New York, I feel like I’ve been pretty positive the last few months, but I’ve officially hit my threshold.

In order to lighten up my mood, I’ve decided to do some shopping for spring!  My favorite trend this year (and a reoccurring one) is Pastels.  The reason I love it, is because it’s a great way to transition your winter wardrobe into spring (and it also reminds me of Easter!)

Here are a few of my favorite spring pieces:

Needle & Thread Lace Stitch Dress

Needle & Thread Lace Stitch Dress

Anthropologie Sapphire Flame Cardigan

Anthropologie Sapphire Flame Cardigan

essie "Fashion Playground" from Spring 2014 Collection

essie “Fashion Playground” from Spring 2014 Collection

Jimmy Choo Rebel Bag

Jimmy Choo Rebel Bag Viva Luxury

At Home Bottomless Brunch

One of my favorite things to do is brunch.  While I love exploring new areas of the city (including bottomless brunches) it’s nice to switch it up once in awhile and host your own brunch!

It can be hard to take a big group to brunch (especially when your friends are always late like mine) so I love the idea of hosting brunch at home.  Here are a few fun (and easy) ideas to customize your brunch:

DIY Mimosa Bar

DIY Mimosa Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put your favorite juice in glass carafes (I bought some from The Container store for under $10- link here) and add some bowls of fruit.  If you’re looking for something easy to ask guests to bring, you can’t go wrong with Champagne!

Grapefruit Juice with Raspberries

Grapefruit Juice with Raspberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these Chalkboard stickers from Paper Source and by using a chalkboard pen, you can easily wipe them off and reuse down the road.

Trader Joe's Appetizers

Trader Joe’s Appetizers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few of the appetizers I made myself (Pizza Cupcakes with mozzarella, crescent rolls, pizza sauce and pepperoni) but the others I bought from Trader Joe’s (life-saver) which were a huge hit.

Final Brunch Table Set Up

Final Brunch Table Set Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also made pasta salad, pulled pork and of course cupcakes, amongst other things, so that guests had enough to eat after several DIY Mimosas! 🙂

Winter Olympics Party Ideas

Did you miss my Olympic Party Ideas last summer?

If you’re looking for some fun and easy ideas to kickoff the Winter Olympics tonight, then look at my post from the Summer Olympics here.

Here are some of my favorite DIY ideas:

Printed flags straws!

Printed flags straws!

Popcorn "torches"

Popcorn “torches”

Red, White and Blue "Champagne" Cocktails

Red, White and Blue “Champagne” Cocktails

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: Date Passport

Valentine’s Day is dreadful to some people (most likely if you’re single…although I spent Valentine’s Day in Vegas with 3 girlfriends a few years ago and that was one of the best years to date!) but even when you’re in a relationship, it can be hard to think of gift ideas.  This year, I’m hoping to do a cooking class with my boyfriend, because we wanted to try something a little different and special!

Those who know me know that one of my FAVORITE things is to give gifts!  I look for any excuse to give gifts to people- birthdays, holidays, just because, you name it and I’m planning months in advance because it makes me so happy.  I also love MAKING gifts, because I think it’s so much more personal (and fun!)

Over the years I’ve made many gifts for my boyfriend (from photobooks to calendars to framed pictures with a map of the city we lived in) and this year I wanted to share a new and fun idea I did- and that’s easy enough for you to do, too!

I got some inspiration for a “Date Book” and “Restaurant Passport” from Pinterest, but of course I added my own touches.  You can do this for not just boyfriends, but friends and family members, too.  If you’re like me (especially being in a new city) you always think of new places you want to eat, visit or attend.  I used to keep a running list in my iPhone notepad, because I’d hear of all of these places and then when it came time to making a reservation, I forgot them all.  Also, my boyfriend and I are long-distance, so when we spend weekends together, we already like to know some of the things we want to do!

Here’s the Date Passport I made and how I did it:

I started with this Chevron Journal from Paper Source (it comes with 3 for $18.95) because it was simple enough (and not too girly!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I bought Vintage stamps from Anthropologie.  These I bought a year ago to use for crafting, but I’m sure you can find some on Etsy or eBay as well.  They were on sale for $8.40 for the pack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a gold paint pen marker and wrote out the inside cover page first (and added some ribbon for a little extra detailing), followed by the city then restaurant, bar, attraction, or name of the place.  I also added the address so it took one less step when looking up directions!

A peek inside!

A peek inside!

Restaurant Info and address, then I added a stamp once we've been!

Restaurant Info and address, then I added a stamp once we’ve been!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added all of the items on our list, and then glued a cute envelope to the back inside page to hold the stamps in!

I started with NY but added other cities as well.

I started with NY but added other cities as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started with 10-15 places, but I’m sure we’ll continue adding along the way.  We’ve already “stamped” five of the places in just two trips!

 

 

 

 

 

Festive Holiday Drinks

One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to host friends at my apartment.  I’ve had all kinds of fun little touches in the past (last year’s post) and I have a new holiday idea that you’re sure to enjoy!  One of the easiest solutions to dealing with the holiday season stress is with a fun and festive cocktail.  Here are a few new recipes for you to try this year:

Spiked Caramel Apple Cider

Spiked Caramel Apple Cider

Spiked Caramel Apple Cider:

1 oz. Pinnacle Caramel Apple Vodka

1 oz. Apple Schnapps

For the rim, crush up red and green peppermints and dampen with water then dip the shot glass into the mix!

Shake the ingredients together and pour into shot glass.

 

 

 

Godiva Chocolate Peppermint Shots

Godiva Chocolate Peppermint Shots

Godiva Chocolate Peppermint Shots:

1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur (or you can use White Chocolate Liqueur)

1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps

For the rim, crush up red peppermints or candy canes and dampen with water then dip the shot glass into the mix!

Shake the ingredients together and pour into shot glass.

 

Cheers!!!

(And thanks to my Aunt Susi for the ideas!)

Mad about Plaid

One of the trends this season that has me OBSESSED with is one that has filled my closet for the past 10 or more years.  Plaid.  The reason it’s one of my favorites is because you really can wear it year-round, and you can dress up or down with it.  It’s fun to mix and match different outfits that include plaid, whether it’s the main piece or an added accessory.  Here are a few of my favorites, in a wide variety of price ranges:

 

 

 

Gushing over Gold

After sparkles and sequins, my next favorite thing is Gold.  I find it takes any home piece to the next level and can make things classy and expensive looking.  My new best friend has become this gold spray paint.  It’s amazing and can literally take your home items from dull to dramatic.  Here are just a few things I have turned to Gold lately:

To Alligator, available online (or at your local Brother Jimmy's)

To Alligator, available online (or at your local Brother Jimmy’s)

Alligators after being Sprayed

Alligators after being Sprayed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bar Cart Before

Bar Cart Before

Barcart After!

Barcart After!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course the Bar Car stocked:

Veuve, Titos and POP are among the essentials...

Veuve, Titos and POP are among the essentials…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a few things on my to-do list:

Gold Striped Plate, via Momtastic

Gold Striped Plate, via Momtastic

Glitter Votives, via 100layercake

Glitter Votives, via 100layercake

DIY Confetti Wall Art via MintLovesSocialClub

DIY Confetti Wall Art, via MintLovesSocialClub

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Last weekend, my roommate and I hosted our (belated) Housewarming party at our apartment.  Yes, she’s been there over a year and I’ve been there for 3 months, but better late than never, right?

We decided to have people over for Wine and Cheese and of course we had to have a cute set up.  It was VERY easy to do, so I would highly recommend this theme to you.  Just pick up a few bottles of Red Wine, White Wine, and Champagne and then make a trip to your local Cheese Shop.  Add fruit, chocolate, and garnishes and some flowers and put it all on Chalkboard Contact Paper (I ordered mine from Amazon) and you’ve got a very fancy (and easy) display table.  Cheers!

Hostesses, "Eat, Drink and Be Merry" straws, last minute homemade door sign, and our barcart

Hostesses, “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” straws, last minute homemade door sign, some of our table, and our DIY Gold Barcart

Napkins and straws I bought in Tahoe, Cheese and Crackers on the Chalkboard Contact Paper

Napkins and straws I bought in Tahoe, Cheese and Crackers on the Chalkboard Contact Paper

The finished table

The finished table!

 

 

 

 

“Do Everything in Love”

“Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

I can’t think of two people who have lived their lives relating more to this verse.  My grandparents are pillars of what I believe God intended for us in terms of loving others.  They have always loved everyone around them unconditionally, and it’s truly inspiring.

On Monday, my grandfather passed away.  Luckily the majority of my family could be with them, and in his last days, it was so apparent how much of an impact he had on so many others.  I know he is now in a much better place, and had 90 years of a life very well lived.  He also had 67 years of marriage, which is truly remarkable.

From as far as I can remember, my grandparents have hated being apart.  And when I say being apart, I don’t mean in other parts of the county; rather I mean in other parts of the room.  Now that I think about it, I don’t ever remember them being apart, other than in two cases.  One was once a year on Black Friday when the girls went shopping and one that day, he couldn’t stay farther away (understandably).  Although my grandma would come with us, that didn’t stop her from calling several times throughout the day to check on him.  The other was in the morning when he’d drive up and buy doughnuts for us or bring back breakfast.  Regardless, they did NOT like being apart.

If my grandpa was getting in or out of the car, instead of focusing on actually getting in or out, he’d be yelling “Where’s Mom? Where’s Mom?” and we’d have to fuss at him to worry about himself before worrying about her, which he never did.

I’ve never seen my grandparents fight and the only time they argued when was one of them was putting the other first (ie. the car or Grandpa getting in and out of his chair.)  Sometimes you’d just get frustrated because you want them to take care of themselves and they couldn’t do that because they were more worried about each other.

I am sad to say that as I grew up, I didn’t get to see my grandparents very often.  They were two hours away and once I moved to the East Coast, it became even more difficult.  But the past year and a half, I got to stay with them two different weekends and even as an adult, sleepovers at Nina and Grandpas were always the best.  Those weekends will be just as cherished as the weeks away at their house when we were kids.  I also couldn’t be there this week to say my goodbyes, which was really difficult.  But a lot of our family could, and I know that’s exactly what he needed.

I’ll never forget getting out of the bathtub was I was a little girl, and sitting on Grandpa’s lap in my towel and getting him all wet.  I also won’t forget watching two people kiss goodnight and hold each other tight (even if one of us kids was in the bed with them!)  I am so grateful to have been blessed with two amazing people, and watching the greatest portrayal of love I’ve ever seen.  I only pray that I have a fraction of the love that they have had.

photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“True love doesn’t happen by accident.  It’s deliberate, it’s intentional, it’s purposeful, and in the end it’s worth it.” – Darlene Schacht

 

BOO-tiful Halloween Ideas

Halloween is one of my favorite Holidays, but not for the reasons it used to be.  I used to love dressing up but now one of my favorite things about the holiday is hosting friends for a party (see last year’s post here) or this year celebrating at my office.  My coworker sent an AMAZING email about how we’ll be celebrating (it involves “Flashdance-style Trick or Treating,” which begins with the onset of “Thriller” being played.)

Here are a few ways I’ve kicked off this holiday so far this year:

On Sunday night, my brother, his girlfriend, my boyfriend, and I all went to Sleep No More.  If you haven't been, you should go. Now.

On Sunday night, my boyfriend and I  went with my brother and his girlfrien  to Sleep No More. If you haven’t been, you should go. Now.

A friend of mine, Maggie, hosted our girlfriends for some Pumpkin Carving.  She supplied snacks, including these Clementine and Celery Pumpkins!

A friend of mine, Maggie, hosted our girlfriends for some Pumpkin Carving a few weeks ago. She supplied snacks, including these Clementine and Celery Pumpkins!

Since it's Halloween, I figured I could get away with these "Spooky" nails at work for a day!

Since it’s Halloween, I figured I could get away with these “Spooky” nails at work for a day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Halloween!!!  Hope yours is BOO-tiful, too!