Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

nov16Just last week, the leaves that were golden yellows, vibrant oranges and eye-popping reds. A sprinkling of leaves woud slowly dift to the ground with the slightest breeze. With every step, the leaves would crunch under my shoes. The last of the leaves are holding on with all their strength and soon will be gone. Thanksgiving must be coming. I am beyond excited for the holidays! Feast your eyes on this moodboard that will inspire a DIY budget friendly tablescape.


Dried Goods: In one of my posts, “DIY Projects :: Seasonal Centerpieces“, I featured non-floral centerpieces from Nettleton Hollow. This is a seasonal project that will highlight your Thanksgiving table and help celebrate a bountiful celebration.

In A Nutshell: Faux acorns make an easy and affordable way to dress up your dinner’s surroundings. Fill apothecary jars with seasonal fillers with nuts, cranberries, dried leaves and branches for a striking arrangement. (Pottery Barn; $14)

Perfect Pear: Use seasonal fruit to help guide your guests to their seat. Make sure to wash the pears, in case your guests munch on the place card. 

Spilled Beans: An easy DIY project that will have your guests asking you to share your secret. Incorporate the colors of fall when you pair pumpkins with lentils and other dried beans. Candles will also warm the gathering space, so be sure to keep plenty around.

Glorious Gourds: As farmers markets close up shop, be sure to grab some lovely squashes. Place in a neutral bowl to allow the colors of the bounty to pop. Martha also suggests adding kumquats for a splash of citrus color.


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oct19The leaves are turning into a golden a crisp and gently falling in the breeze. Halloween is haunting us just around the corner. Here is a mood board to help inspire a creepy, yet chic Halloween celebration. Be careful, the tingle of goosebumps might run down your spine.


Bone Collector: The tricked out appetizer plates will surely make your head spin. (Pottery Barn; $5)

Fright Invite: Custom invites with a cauldron full of skulls and eerie font will haunt your guests’ mailboxes. (Wheeler Studios; $2)

Gourd-geous Garland: DIY garland directions are easy to follow and can be hung anywhere for instant harvest decor. The gourds are aplenty at your local grocer.

Fierce Fireplace: Drape dark ivy around your mantle to add a somber feeling to the space.

Painted Pumpkins: Why carve when you can paint? Forget the standard Jack-0-Lantern look, paint spider webs or outline the trunk of a tree on your pumpkin.

Dreadful Drinks: Set up a drink bar and print off the recipe cards for each drink. The black vodka sets the tone for all three drinks.

Wicked Welcome: Before your guests enter your haunted house, have them wipe their wearing feet on this welcome mat. (CB2; $20)

Feather Your Nest: Set the tone for the party with a feathery wreath for your front door. Want a cheaper options? Make one yourself. Buy a metal wreath (Target; $30)

Bat Cave: Place removable bat vinyl decals on the walls of your house to instantly increase the haunt factor. Remove when you are done and save for next year. (Wilson’s Graphics;$30)

Sinister Sweets: Create a food buffet with a theme centered on color. Don’t forget to include dark chocolate!

Any other ideas? What are you going to be for Halloween? We have four parties to attend (that’s what happens when Halloween falls on a Saturday) and I am still tossing around ideas.

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jul04Happy 4th of July! I hope you had yesterday off and were able to celebrate a bit. Sleep in, fire up the grill and get ready to get dangerous with some fireworks. (Side note: I am not encouraging you to be dangerous).

If you need a festive dessert, Martha Stewart has a yummy raspberry and cookie recipe that will knock your socks off.

Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes with Spoon-Shaped Cookies
marthastewart sundaes

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jun25It doesn’t take much to add pizazz to a party. Joanna, from LotusHaus Blog, made the basic Father’s BBQ into a fun fiesta with bright colors and flavorful dishes. For flowers, she bought grocery store bouquets and placed single red and yellow votives for more color. The tablecloth and runner were found at a local discount store and the colors really make the space pop. I love seeing intimate parties with such flare, it will make anyone feel more special.  She did a great job of keeping it cheap and bringing the fiesta to an otherwise standard BBQ. Lastly, she switched up the blah hamburger and hot dog menu to fit the theme: carne asada with aqua-mole salsa and spanish rice and beans. Luckily, she did not post pictures of the food, because my peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not doing a good job of holding me over.

Did you celebrate Fathers’ Day? What did you do?

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may05Happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope you are celebrating the Batalla de Puebla with a margarita. If you need party ideas, check out my recent Mayo Party post, Hostess’ post on 10 Unique Margarita Flavors and evite.com for more fun fiesta ideas.

Side note: I’ve been busy with a few projects, so my postings were not  frequent last week. But I promise more posts are to come!

mariachi1Kevin and I (Halloween 2006)


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apr23When I was living and studying in Mexico, I remember being a bit disappointed that celebrations were not being had on cinco de Mayo. I quickly got over it. I mean, what was I going to do? Eat another taco and drink another tequila infused drink? I already did that. Back in the states I like to reminisce about all the fun Mexican parties I’ve attended and bring some of that flavor back. (enjoy!)


1) I Need-a ‘Rita: Jamaica (pronounced, “ha-mike-ah) margaritas have a deep red color. The drink is made from dried hibiscus flowers and makes the ‘rita is beyond delicious. You can find dried jamaica online or in your local Mexican store.

2) Break a Leg: If you don’t to reenact your 7th grade birthday party, when you got whacked in the head, a piñata can just be used as a decoration. You can find them at some chain grocery stores (ie. Albertsons, WinCo etc –strange isn’t it?), local Mexican store (seeing a pattern?) or online.

3) High Flyin’: These festive and colorful flags are a great way to incorporate some of color into the celebration. Hang them outside so it will catch a breeze.

4) Main Squeeze: If you are making homemade margaritas or aqua fresca, a lemon/lime this is a must-have. Make sure to catch the loose seeds!

5) Holy Guacamole: Tomatoes stuffed with guacamole is an easy way to incorporate guacamole into a party without having the mess. Make a lot, these little bites will disappear fast.

6) Hot Pockets: Much better than hot pockets, these homemade stuffed puffs are savory and are easy to handle when having a conversation. I am not a fan of banana in my empanadas, so you can substitute the banana for the potato and no one is the wiser. Also, I made 9 per sheet, rather than 6. Just roll the dough out another 2 inches and cut into 9 squares.

7) One Tequila, Two Tequila: At each place setting, a mini tequila bottle can play two roles: a party favor and place setting. A small piece of cardstock and ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle will help avoid any confusion for your guests and provide a bit of liquid courage.

8) Tisket A Tasket: Make sure to have several of these eco-friendly bowls filled with of chips. The saltiness of the chips will go nicely with the sweetness of the margarita.

9) Shake Your Money Maker: Shaking maracas are fun. Place them around your party location to add a bit of noise to the celebration.

10) Pan Dulce: Traditional sweet breads (pan dulce) and donuts that are found on every corner in a pueblito. A display of pan dulce will also provide another focal centerpiece and entice the pickiest of taste buds. You can buy pan dulce at most Mexican specialty shops.

11) Muy Salsa: These bright little bowls will help keep your salsas physically separated, but together in theme. Plus, for 4 dollars, who can beat that?

12). In the limelight: What kind of fiesta doesn’t have limes? Pile them in a clear glass bowl for a simple, cheap and easy centerpiece. Just be sure to have a few sliced and ready for your guests who prefer limes with their corona.

13) On the rocks: You can find these in your local grocer, in the Mexican food aisle or you can order them from Amazon. A delicious ice cold Jarrito or Mexican soda will quench any thirst. Make sure it is made with sugar cane for that real authentic taste.

14) Boat of Bevies: In case your party moves to a different location, pack your drinks in this beverage bin. If you don’t move locations, at least your beverages will look good while chilling.

Don’t forget to have music!

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mar05As a child, I could barely remember to change out of my pjs let alone wear green on a certain day. St Patrick’s day was never a big celebration. I mean, we didn’t have party at school, so it really didn’t count in my book. As a kid, if it was a true holiday, the party was required. As I get older, I see that Halloween and St Patrick’s Day are two of the biggest events celebrated. It could be just the town I live in (Portland, Oregon) and these two holidays (I say holiday, since it is treated as such) are HUGE! They are almost 6 months apart, so maybe we just need something to celebrate.

This is not for the budget friendly. You help ease your nerves; just put it into perspective…you are helping our economy by spending!


  1. Earthy elements: Since the tent has high ceilings, having a tall flower arrangements can help bring the ceiling down. Using twigs, reindeer moss and modern square vases, these arrangements are sleek and beautiful.
  2. Sights and Sounds: Find a local Céilí dancing group and ask if they will perform for some entertainment. Céilí (pronounced: kay-lee) means party is similar to square dancing but the footwork is more complex. In addition to the dancers, hiring a bagpipe player will make a dramatic impression on your guests. If you weren’t a beer drinker before, hearing the bagpipes will surely cause you to grab a pint.
  3. Fabric of our lives: Fabric can also be very beneficial. Drape the fabric from the ceiling and create a more intimate space and adding some color at the same time. Start from the middle and work your way out. It will also cover that unsightly metal.
  4. Lights & Camera: Add these lights to set the mood for a party. These will hang below the fabric and create a great ambiance without taking up valuable floor space.
  5. Hot Potato: For something hot, crispy and delicious, have a deni fryer on site. I highly suggest having a sober cooker manning the station all night. When you pull out a fresh batch, just watch the crowds around the table get thicker.
  6. Here’s your sign: Order a few of these personalized signs to claim your space. The themed pub signs will surely be a conversation starter.
  7. Custom Coasters: Your guests need a place to set their drink down when they are grabbing some grub. Order some personalized coasters to help prevent watermarks. Well, seriously, it is more of a table accessory.
  8. Serveware: Of course you need green cups, plates, napkins, utensils etc. Find them in various shades of green.
  9. Warm my buns: These outdoor space heaters will help your guests stay toasty.
  10. Rent a tent: If you have a yard big enough for a tent. Rent one! If you have adjoining driveways, another option is asking your neighbor to share the space. If you do this, you must invite them to the party ;).
  11. To you, from me: There are a million options out there for invitations. Find ones that suit your needs.
  12. Bead Me: To make things more festive, order a gross of the beads. Everyone needs 144 green shamrock beads.
  13. st patricks day


    Artichoke and Leek dip and Irish Brown Bread

    Fresh vegetable tray

    Fresh fried potatoes

    Izze green apple soda

    Cheese plate and fruit

    Irish coffees and a keg in Guinness

    Homemade Irish Corned Beef and Vegetables

    Oatmeal Stout Brownies (use green dye for the cream cheese mixture)

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