Do you guys have plans for NYE? I don't usually look forward to it or make big plans but this year I have my friend's wedding and I'm really excited for it! I'll be traveling to Chicago on the 27th and staying there through the New Year. The bride is my friend from Penn State so a bunch of my college friends will all be going there too. I'm pumped to spend time with all of them and ring in the New Year with everyone. I know that the wedding (and welcome party) are going to be amazing so I'm pretty hyped! I've also never been to Chicago so I'm excited to explore a new city. Whether you have a formal, black tie event like me, are keeping it casual or doing something in between, I have lots of ideas on what you can wear! Just click on an image below to shop it.
I wanted to make a Halloween cocktail that would pair well with the Mexican food that I've been majorly craving (when am I not though?!). Enter the Blood Orange Margarita! Get it...blood...Halloween. It's stupid easy and perfect since blood oranges are currently in season. I actually got mini blood oranges and they worked perfectly.
INGREDIENTS (Yields 4 cocktails):
12 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice
4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
4 oz agave
8 oz tequila (I used Silver)
Combine all ingredients and pour over ice. You can garnish the glass with a wedge of blood orange if you'd like!
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I'd say that candles are 100 percent necessary for creating a cozy home. I am a candle addict and if I'm being totally honest, kind of a candle snob. I discovered how much better quality candles are. They smell so much better and reach such a wider area with their scent. I LOVE an ultra cozy scent for this time of year. It also always has to be packaged nicely in order to contribute to the decor. Obviously that usually includes being mega neutral! Here are my tried and true, all time favorite candles for this time of year. Just promise that once they change your home for the better, you will tell me how much you love them!
Is it just me or are traditional "gift baskets" ridiculously outdated?! Does anyone actually eat the apple in the baskets or remember to bake with the mix from them?! I get it though, it's hard (and time consuming) to think of cute combinations of gifts for people though. Enter Knack....
Knack is a modern gift service that creates custom baskets or helps you purchase curated gift baskets with unique items. It has that artisan, small shop feel but online! They even have an online concierge who can help match you with the best gift box. I think that their boxes are PERFECT for housewarming gifts, host/hostess gifts, gifts for work associates...you get the point.
I already buy so many of these brands and have bought so many of these exact products as gifts before. In fact, I usually stock up on this cement candle because its my 'go to' hostess gift along with a set of cute matches. So, I trust that they are buying quality products to put in their boxes since I have used and loved so many of them.
They break gift boxes down by gender, occasion (get well, baby...), and hobbies. I think their website is so user friendly, which makes it easy to find what you are looking for (without going in knowing exactly what that even is)! My box is the Just Breathe knack!
Knack is currently running a promotion to help Hurricane Harvey survivors, which I love! For each of these boxes, they will send the same box to an organization that is supporting people impacted by the Hurricane. If you purchase a Moment of Play Knack, they will send one of these boxes to children in shelters. If you buy a knack under the 'toiletries' category, they will also be sending those boxes to victims of the hurricane. All of the proceeds from these sales will be used to purchase more boxes for those affected.
This post is sponsored but all thoughts and opinions are my own!
Now that you've got your Cinco De Mayo outfit, you can move on to what is important...food and drinks! I'm pretty sure that Cinco De Mayo is a synonym for tequila. Look it up if you don't believe me. While a classic margarita is great, it's very 'been there, done that' and since it's a holiday you need to give it a little spin. These watermelon margaritas are awesome. Unfortunately, I can't drink for medical reasons but I always try what I make and this one was definitely tempting me to keep drinking. It's so good that it doesn't even seem like its alcoholic. Normally when drinks are like that it is because they are super sweet and full of sugar. This recipe that I made up isn't sweet and it has a little tang. The reason I really love it is because it is made with real food and fresh ingredients and you can taste the freshness. We always make margaritas and different watermelon drinks in the summer to bring to the pool and this hybrid is definitely going to need to be added to the roster this year. It really quenches your thirst on a hot day since it is loaded with fresh juices! I hope that this cocktail has you salsa dancing this Friday!
Ingredients (yields one cocktail):
1 shot of tequila
Juice of 5 limes
Juice of 2 cups cubed watermelon
Splash of seltzer (I used lime seltzer)
Optional: piece of watermelon for garnish
Place ice cubes into a glass
Squeeze the juice out of 5 limes into a glass (I used a citrus press)
Cut watermelon into cubes until you have 2 cups of cubes
Squeeze the juice out of the watermelon cubes with a citrus press into the glass
Add the shot of tequila and stir
Garnish if you choose to and enjoy!
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I use any holiday as an excuse to get dressed up. I LOVED a good theme party in college. I went way too ham on the themes (favorite was a "P" Party where I dressed up as a member of the Purple Parrots from Legends of the Hidden Temple--anyone remember that show?!). Cinco De Mayo seems like a perfect "grown up" version of a theme party where you can dress up in a fun and festive dress (and preferably look like the dancing emoji in the red dress). Grab your margharita and have a fun night!
A Christmas tree makes any room COZY! What if you could make your tree serve as a decorative statement piece as well? Here are some tips on how to buy and place some killer ornaments on your tree.
First things first, establish what you want the style of your tree to be. Do you want it to be colorful? Do you want it to be girly with lots of pinks and whites? Are you interested in a more traditional look? Whatever your heart desires, make it happen. Big shocker, but I wanted a tree with only neutral colors. My ornaments are all shades of white, tan, silver, and gold. The first year, I wanted it to be a combination of rustic and glam styles. Since then, I have transitioned it into more of a bohemian route by toning down the sparkles and getting more wooden and felt ornaments. We have a lot of feathers, peace signs and other cool things like that.
Next, decide how you are going to make your tree feel personalized. I love elephants so I have collected a few elephant ornaments. Our first year that we lived together, Jay gave me a white elephant ornament from Jonathan Adler and it is by far my favorite one. I feel like I need to put a little ornament trampoline under it so that it never breaks. We also wanted to have some “memory” ornaments but are not attracted to the classic “Our First Christmas” ones that are in the stores. Instead, we bought wooden gift tags from The Container Store. We wrote a superlative for each year on the back of the slice of wood and will continue to do so in years to come. This year was “2016: The Year of the Engagement.” We also have a cork map that we put pushpins in each time that we visit a new state in the U.S.
Now that you’ve established the vibe that you are going for, it is time to purchase your ornaments. I have a rotation of stores that I check out when I am looking for new ornaments. I recommend looking at Nordstrom, H&M, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child (sounds weird since I don’t have kids but they have surprisingly classy choices for a better price), Pottery Barn, Pier 1, Homegoods and Urban Outfitters.
Now that it is time to decorate your tree with the ornaments that you selected, you need to pour yourself a drink and set out some snacks. It is completely necessary to play Christmas music as you decorate your tree. As tedious as some of the decorating can be (i.e. stringing the lights), the process should be fun! Next, you should separate your ornaments into themes. I make piles for Sparkly, Rustic/Woodland, Badass/Modern, and Bohemian ornaments. This makes it easier to space out your ornaments so that the whole tree blends well. I rotate which pile I grab from while decorating each area of the tree.
Once you are done decorating, you get to lovingly stare at your beloved tree. It is so rewarding to watch your vision come to life. Enjoy your masterpiece!
Links to Featured Products:
These ornaments are seasonal and therefore cannot be linked but here is where they are from:
White feathers in glass
Gold ice skates
Clear/iridescent glass ball
White feather with silver tip
Beaded peace sign
Ball with rose gold bottom and leather tie
Cork United States Map
H & M:
Silver metal geo diamond
Silver metal geo star
Grey/white marble ball
White ceramic elephant
Ivory felt elephant
Clear glass ball with gold ball inside
Washington General Store (local to Hoboken, NJ)
Grey sparkle feather
Large burlap star
White leather star
How To Live (Local to LBI, NJ)
The Container Store:
Wooden "Merry Christmas" gift tags that we made into "memory ornaments"
Who decided that Christmas wreaths can only be red and green? You know that “rule” that states that wreaths need to be made from pine and/or ivy and can only incorporate poinsettias? Screw it! You know the tradition of wreaths involving Poinsettias as the only flower? Well, I’m breaking it. Here comes the bohemian and majestic wreath of your dreams!
Eucalyptus (silver dollar)
Flowers of your choice (I used fresh flowers but obviously if you want it to last longer then you should use dried flowers)
Wire clothing hanger
Floral wire (or another lightweight wire)
Pull down the bottom of the hanger until you make the triangle section into a circle. It should now look like a circle with a hook at the top of it.
Bend the eucalyptus branches so that they create a natural arch.
Make a cluster of eucalyptus branches and adhere them together. You can use the floral wire. I started off adhering them together with packing tape and then used the wire with a couple of the last branches to cover up the tape.
Use floral wire to adhere each of the branches to the circular clothes hanger. Use the same wire to adhere each of the flower buds on top of the branches.
Hang your wreath from the hook of the hanger and enjoy!