Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{new wall decor}

A couple weeks ago Chris' sister surprised us with an early wedding gift from our registry.  She gave us the white resin deer and moose from ZGallerie!!  (As a side story- Chris' parents actually thought it was a mistake when his sister told them what she bought for us because they were confused why we had registered for taxidermy.)  We have wanted these for a long time and always thought they would look wonderful on each side of our bed.  Since our walls are bright white, we picked up some pre-cut unfinished wood "shields" from Michaels Crafts and stained them with a dark Varathane wood stain.  

I apologize for the poor quality of these photos; the darkness in our room plus the white animals on white walls make these very difficult to photograph!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{diy christmas ornament garland}

During the after christmas sales last year, my mom  picked up a bunch of gold ornaments which we intended to make ornament wreaths out of (like this). But then, I came across this image on Pinterest and I knew it would be an even better project for the ornaments.  While I still love the wreath idea, the diy ornament garland fits in our loft since most people in our building don't do a lot of decorating on their hallway doors.  This project was surprisingly easy. You will barely even need to pay attention to what you are doing (in fact, I completed these two garlands in about 30 minutes while watching a movie).  What really makes this project look good is making sure that you have a variety of ornament sizes and textures.  I would suggest at least three different sizes of ornaments and two to three different textures like glitter, metallic, frosted, etc.

What you need:
  • 30 to 40 large ornaments (3" to 4" diameter)
  • 30 medium ornaments (2" diameters)
  • 20 to 30 small ornaments (1" ornaments)
  • 1/2 wide ribbon
Simply string ornaments onto the ribbon in a random pattern of the different sizes. As you push the ornaments closer together they will begin to form the "cluster" look.  Continue placing ornaments until you achieve the desired length.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

{thanksgiving cocktail: maple bacon old fashioned}

This week I am posting Friday's cocktail recipe a little early.  Earlier in the week, we made bacon infused bourbon following the recipe in PDT's cocktail book.  While making the bacon infused bourbon is relatively easy, the process is a little disturbing since the way you achieve this infusion is by pouring bacon fat into a bootle of bourbon.  The bacon taste the bourbon ends up with very subtle and lends itself perfectly to a modified Old Fashioned.  Here is the recipe we followed:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{guinness chocolate cupcakes}

This past weekend, I went to a friend's early Thanksgiving get-together and I was asked to bring a dessert.  I had intended on making mini apple hand pies, but I wasn't sure exactly how long they would take me and I was short on time.  So instead I went with a fool proof recipe for Guinness Chocolate cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.  The best part about this recipe is that it is based off of a box mix for the chocolate cake, you simply add in a few additional ingredients.  You can see the recipe I referenced here and I would recommend omitting the cream in the frosting part of the recipe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

{gift guide: ladies & gents}

 Last week, Lauren from A Fabulous Fete asked me if I wanted to put together a holiday gift guide in collaboration with some other bloggers.  This is the first gift guide I have ever put together and I had a ton of fun perusing my wishlist on pinterest and asking Chris for input.  I definitiely plan on doing some additional gift guides leading up to the holidays this year. For my first try, I decided to keep it simple and create one for the ladies and one for guys....

Also head over to these blogs to check out their holiday gift guides:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{friday cocktail: sugared rose}

One of my favorite blogs and online magazines for party inspiration is The Party Dress. They just launched their holiday issue and it does not disappoint, especially in the cocktail department.  This issue featured a Fizzy Fig champagne cocktail, which uses home-made fig, pepper and vanilla sugar cubes.  I bookmarked this cocktail recipe for the future, but I was also interested in how simple it sounded to make custom flavored sugar cubes using flavored syrups.  I followed The Party Dress' recipe for the flavored sugar cubes and simply switched out the fig syrup for Rose syrup to make these dainty pink sugar cubes which went perfectly with this Friday's recipe....

I was really happy with how the taste of sugar cubes came out, but they weren't as clean aesthetically as I would have hoped.  To me the charm of sugar cubes are the clean square lines which mine did not have.  I think these would actually work better if you used a candy mold or perhaps pressed the top with an  additional layer of parchment.  A bit of advice- you absolutely must use allow these to "dry" for 3 to 4 hours otherwise the cubes completely fall apart. 

Also I am guest blogging over on Sweet Nothings today about my "favorite find" so go check it out right here and have a great weekend!


{thanksgiving ideas}

I am pretty much an equal opportunity lover of all holidays, but Thanksgiving definitely ranks up near the top.  I always love how its more of a casual and cozy holiday without the pressure of gifts or costumes.  With Thanksgiving only a week away, I started searching around for some fun ideas to use this year....

These napkins are available on Etsy, but could be a really easy and fun DIY project for this coming weekend.  Plus, they arent Thanksgiving specific so we could get use out of them year round!

Although its a little late this year to send out invites to Thanksgiving, I think it would fun to save this idea for next years get together.  Even though most people already know they are invited to Thanksgiving, it is still fun to receive a physical invite in the mail.  These postcard invites are also available on Etsy.

Chris and I are always put in charge of the cocktails for Thanksgiving, last year we made up a big batches of these.  My brother is obsessed with all things bacon and requested a cocktail that lives up to his expectations this year.  We have decided on making bacon infused bourbon which will be used to make a bacon old fashioned.

As much as I love mini sized desserts, Thanksgiving just isn't the holiday for that type of sizing.  These individual pumpkin mousse desserts from Spoon Fork Bacon are the perfect compromise since they are an appropriate proportion for Thanksgiving, but still have all the charm of "mini" since they are served individually. 

I love these simple placecards from Etsy that do double-duty on Thanksgiving by having everyone write down something they are thankful for.  These would be a very quick weekend DIY project.  The best part would be saving them to bring out the following year and reminiscing about what everyone wrote down.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{holiday party inspiration}

 {all images via Pinterest}

This year we decided to throw our first holiday party ever!  In the past we have always done a big party in September for our birthdays and then a Halloween related party in October.  By the time December rolls around, we are never up to throwing another big party.  We decided to do a plaid themed cocktail party and request all the guests to wear some form of plaid.  I have been gathering up some inspiration for food and decor since the party is only 2 and half weeks away! Hopefully I can actually get the invites in the mail by tomorrow so that we actually have guests at the party!

 {outfit inspiration}

 {food inspiration}

Monday, November 14, 2011

{diy happy birthday banner}

Over the weekend, we celebrated our good friend's 25th birthday by attending a sit down dinner party at her place for 22 people!  A couple weeks before the party we made some crafts to go along with her color scheme which was green, white and gold.  And of course, no birthday party is complete without some sort of "Happy Birthday" banner.  To make this one we used green and white crepe paper as well as some card stock and gold ribbon.  We simply followed the same process I used for my bridesmaid ribbon medallions (tutorial here).  I am really happy with the result and surprised at how easy the crepe paper was to use in this project.

{the birthday girl and myself}

Friday, November 11, 2011

{friday cocktail: the birthday girl}

Today is one of my close friend's birthdays and last night we helped her set up for the amazing 22 person dinner party she is throwing tonight! In honor of this, I knew I wanted to do a festive "birthday" themed champagne cocktail with a sprinkles rim.  While browsing at the store, I came across white cake flavored vodka and I just knew I couldn't pass it up.  Please don't judge me, but it's true- I am now the owner of a bottle of white cake flavored vodka and the funny thing is, it doesn't actually taste that bad! 

Cheers & Happy Birthday Heather!