Tuesday, December 31, 2013

{2013: top paper goods + printables}

 There is nothing more enjoyable to me than taking a little bit extra time to design and print my own paper goods for parties or events- especially invitations!  Here is a round up of my favorites from 2013 - most of which include downloads for a printable file of the design!

{2013: top party posts}

Although the cocktail posts are my favorite the write for this blog (for obvious reasons), the very very close runner up is blogging about parties and dinner parties.  This year was a bit quieter on the party front in our place compared with last year due to us traveling a lot in the past 8 months and our space it smaller than the loft, but it didn't stop of from throwing some great get togethers and dinner parties.  While it wasn't at our home and technically took place on December 31st 2012, the NYE party we threw to ring in 2013 (pictured above) was by far my favorite party of this past year.

{ringing in NYE 2013 one year ago today!}

up next- my favorite paper goods & printables of 2013!

{2013: top food & cocktail posts}

I truly can't believe another year is coming to a close- it feels like we were just writing our new year's resolutions from last year. After feeling nostalgic and scrolling through the past year in posts here on Mint Love, I thought it would be fun to round up some of my favorite posts in a few different categories starting first with cocktails & food - the most important things in life really!  I hope you enjoy a little walk down 2013 memory lane....

{The Terra Cocktail: a girly cocktail I created for my girlfriend's bachelorette party}

 {vegan blackberry, fig & coconut "ice cream" - I still have a hard time believing how good this was even though it has no cream!}

{The Rose Derby Cocktail: cocktails with honey syrup get me every single time}

{grilled summer dinner menu - this entire dinner still sticks out in my mind for how fresh, flavorful and seasonal it was.}

{The Mint Love Julep - since I don't prefer whiskey, I created this "mint love" version of a classic julep to enjoy along with the Kentucky Derby!}

 {Warm Kale Salad - topped with a poached egg, crisp apples & bacon this salad quickly became my go to salad this past fall/winter}

{Fresa Brava Cocktail- a spicy little cocktail from one of my new favorite cocktail books}

 {Momofuku Birthday Cake - after hunting down all the needed ingredients, I baked this cake to celebrate mine and chris' birthdays this year.  It was soooo incredibly good that I might make it a tradition to whip one up every year!}

{Basil Cucumber Caipirinha - this cocktail was my escape from the frigid temperatures in Chicago since (like all caipirinhas) it's basically summer in a glass}

 {Dressed Up Caprese- taking one of my italian appetizer favorites and adding more things I like to it such as pistachios and beets}

{Blackberry Sage Fizz - the perfect sparkling cocktail to welcome in fall/winter!}

Up next- a round up of my favorite parties of 2013!

Monday, December 30, 2013

{landed in Paris}

After a long 12 hour flight on Air Tahiti Nui, we have finally settled into our Paris apartment in the 7th arrondissement.  I cannot wait to share with you photos of our tiny place and our experiences here over the next 3 months!

Also on a side-note, we flew out of LAX through the brand new Tom Bradley International Terminal and if I wasn't headed to Paris then I think I would have moved into the airport. They have Ink Sack, Petrossian Champagne & Caviar, Vanilla Bakeshop, LaMill and a ton of other awesome eateries nestled among a ton of designer boutiques including Armani, Gucci, Chloe, etc.  If I had known about how amazing that terminal was I would have forced us to get there hours earlier, but we did at least have some time to relax with a glass of champagne (above) before boarding!

Friday, December 27, 2013

{what i loved this week}

on instagram:  In the debate between style and function regarding the two sets of headphones I received for Christmas, style ultimately won out.  Pretty sure I need an illustration of Muji just like this one.  I hope this punch recipe from Camille Styles is as good as it looks.  The Luxe Report nailed it with their Christmas tablescape of black, white gold and malachite. 

on pinterest:  DIY striped chargers will be the first DIY project I tackle when we are home from Europe.  I have seen these kraft paper roll holders in restaurants and packaging stores, but wouldn't it be awesome to have on in your own kitchen?!

in real life:  We have had a whirlwind of activity these last two weeks, spending one theme-filled week in Breckenridge along with 800 other students and significant others from Kellogg followed by a relaxing week catching up with family and friends in Southern California for Christmas.  (PS I just picked up that red dress from BCBG on sale and its my new favorite- snag one for yourself right here!)

on the blogs:  I just discovered the new to me blog Almost Makes Perfect- how perfect are these party hats for NYE or really any occasion?  A helpful round up of some tasty champagne cocktails on the Glitter Guide

on my wishlist:  Perfectly edgy gold and black clutch from here.  This "More Gin Please" print needs to be a part of our bar!  Being in California reminds me that its basically summer year-round and I need more kaftans in my life

{friday cocktail: ginger 75}

The holiday season is all about celebrating- whether it’s being reunited with family or friends, hosting a holiday party or ringing in the New Year.  With all these gatherings, you need a good arsenal of champagne cocktails in your back pocket to be ready to toast at any time (and by now you might have exhausted all the good ones you already know of!).  This cocktail recipe uses a crisp mix of ginger liqueur, gin and lemon topped with sparkling wine or champagne.  The sugar sprinkle rim and candied ginger garnish makes the cocktail feel a bit more festive for those special occasions like New Years Eve! 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

{new year's eve party dresses}

New Year's Eve might just my favorite holiday of the year- it's probably the only holiday where you can get away with being ridiculously overly dressed in something glitzy and glamourous plus champagne flows all night long!  So why not use this chance to wear a really fun frock.  

Here are some of my faves (especially #1!):

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

{our holiday cards}

Last year I used Minted to create our holiday cards and I was conveniently able to use one of our wedding photos since it was the Christmas following our April wedding.  This year I went the complete DIY route by designing the cards myself having them printed locally in Chicago.  I knew I wanted to take our holiday photo in front of the Chicago skyline so we opted to get a little dressed up and use North Avenue Beach for a quick photoshoot.

My handwriting is horrible so I always chose to fully print our return and recipient addresses since it doesn't take that much longer than handwriting them all.  I used the same envelopes from last year opted for the red version which I ordered from right here.  I am really happy with how simple this design turned out- especially the mix of the light mint green with the stark bright red seams on the envelopes.  Plus DIY-ing the whole thing saved money and allowed me to get exactly what I had in mind!

Monday, December 23, 2013

{gift guide: for the last minute shopper}

Well Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  Perhaps you forgot this and now you are scrambling for gifts? But dont worry- you can scramble for gifts from the comfort of your couch since Zappos and Nordstrom are both offering free overnight shipping today and if you have an Amazon Prime membership you can benefit from $3.99 overnight shipping.  All of these gifts are from one of those three sites.

You. Are. Welcome.

1. Food Fashion Friends - my all time favorite book to gift

2. Ray-Ban aviators - such a classic look and works for both guys and gals

6. Batman Lego alarm clock - for the children (or immature men)

7. Perry Ellis Shawl Collar Sweater - better than a zip up sweatshirt. always

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

{video: 4 holiday cocktail recipes}

Along with the holiday DIY projects I showed you in this video, I also came up with four different cocktail recipes for Glam's Haute Hostess series that are perfect for the holidays!  Check out the fun video and all recipes are below....


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

{gift guide: for the foodie}

1. Glass & Steel beverage dispenser- perfect for batch cocktails!

3. Libbey Mini Tasting Set - so they can act like a high end caterer at their next soiree

4.  Kitchen Scale- every cook needs one for the most accurate cooking!

5. Boos Block cutting boards - everyone could use a cutting board upgrade

7. Kitchen Stand for Ipad  - it beats using a ziploc bag which is what we do.

8. 3 months American Cheese delivery - its cheese delivered to their door- enough said.

10.  Vintage cookware- especially retro Le Creuset because it always stands the test of time!

12.  Food Magazine subscriptions- Food & Wine and Bon Appetit are my favorites!

13.  Truffle Salt- it's sort of like gifting people crack.