Kayla Kitts

"In a world full of beige, I'm not afraid to be neon."

Kayla Kitts is an editor for HGTV.com. You can find her doing at least one of the following: shopping for home decor at local vintique stores, picking out produce at the local farmer’s market, spending quality time with her adopted cat, D’Artagnan, watching the most random movies available on Netflix, or exploring her brand-new downtown neighborhood. Every piece of furniture she owns is proudly secondhand. Her favorite design style is vintage modern with splashes of unexpected color.

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POSTS BY Kayla Kitts

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For some, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, but for others it’s a time to binge-eat chocolate and trash your ex. If you’re in the latter group of V-Day celebrators, mend that broken heart with a few delicious cocktails from celebrity caterer Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs.

This February 14th, grab your pals and toast to being single — or single and looking — with Andrea’s fruity Bloody Valentine cocktail coupled with blood orange infusions and her Devil’s Spiked Tea, which will put any of your sweet tea concoctions to shame (the secret is in the tequila).

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Devil’s Spiked Tea

Ingredients

4 ounces Lipton Tea and Honey Strawberry Acai Tea
1 ounce Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila
Prosecco
mint
strawberries

Instructions

Muddle mint and strawberries in a cocktail shaker. Add iced tea, tequila and ice in a shaker. Strain into a glass. Top with Prosecco and serve.

Bloody Valentine Cocktail Recipe

The Bloody Valentine

Ingredients

3 ounces orange juice
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce blood orange syrup
blood orange slice, for garnish

Instructions

Pour tequila, orange juice and blood orange syrup into a rocks glass with ice. Stir. Slowly pour grenadine around the inside of the glass. (It will sink and slowly rise to mix with other ingredients naturally.) Spear a blood orange slice with a toothpick and lay across the top of the glass.

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To be completely honest with you, my inspiration for today’s Mood Board Monday comes from an egg, cheese and avocado bagel sandwich I had over the weekend. It was my idea of breakfast Heaven. Now, I can’t stop thinking of my next avocado adventure…

Mood Board Monday: AvocadoPrint | Kitchen | Ice Cream | Vintage Ad | Dining Room | Table Setting | Nursery | Fashion

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Avocado recipes from HGTV.com:

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Happy Friday, readers! What are you doing Sunday night? My plans include wine, friends and The Grammys. This is by far my favorite award show of the year with music performances all night long. Music’s biggest night will surely produce some noteworthy — and likely shocking — fashion choices and memorable performances by the year’s hottest acts. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Lorde and Carole King, it’s sure to be three hours of musical bliss.

What better way to celebrate The Grammys than to take you inside some of the performer’s homes? The best part? Some of these celeb pads are for sale. Just get that checkbook ready.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's Home for Sale

This charming Nashville home was built in 1925 and purchased by Taylor in September 2010 for her parents. She ended up selling the place a year later for $1.35 million, $50,000 more than what she originally paid. No sad songs here.

Tour Taylor Swift’s Nashville Home for Sale >>

Jay-Z

560 State Street

In 2009, Jay-Z released a New York anthem featuring Alicia Keys called “Empire State of Mind.” In the first verse he mentions living at 560 State Street in Brooklyn. Well, here she is. And for sale, too.

Check Out the Brooklyn Building Where Jay-Z Once Resided >>

Katy Perry

Katy Perry's House for Sale

This three-acre, Mediterranean-style Park Hill estate was built in the early 1920s and boasts breathtaking views of the Los Angeles skyline.

Tour Katy Perry’s Hollywood House for Sale >>

See More Celebrity Homes

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I know what you’re thinking: “It’s January. Cold, winter January. And this girl’s giving us chambray?” But stay with me for a minute. You were probably wanting something warm and cozy, or maybe something more winter-y, but I’m looking ahead. Mostly, I’m DONE with winter. These single-digit temperatures are wearing me out and I’m ready for some summer breezes already! I’ve been wearing my chambray shirts under sweaters and with bright-hued pants throughout the cold seasons, but I’m seriously ready to pull out the sundresses now. That indigo blue and sunshine is calling my name!

Mood Board Monday: ChambrayChambray + Sequins | Pouf | Swatch | All Chambray | Print | Shirt | Living Room | Suave Man in Chair | Rug

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Just in case your calendar’s not up to speed, Sunday is National Popcorn Day. Either head to a movie and give in to the aroma, or make your own popcorn snack at home. We have nine sweet and salty recipes you can make in a snap — or a pop!

SWEET

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Recipe: Caramel Popcorn Balls from FoodNetwork.com

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Recipe: Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Maple Nut Popcorn

Recipe: Maple-Nut Popcorn

More Gourmet Recipe Ideas

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I’m not even going to pretend like I haven’t been planning my dream wedding since, well, I don’t even know. Although my ideas have changed over the years, my dream wedding dress has not. It has always included head-to-toe vintage-inspired (or true vintage) lace fabric. Today’s board is inspired by the most darling and feminine fabric I can think of.

Mood Board Monday: LaceTable Runner | Skirt | Heart | Jar | Suitcase | Dress | Coverlet | Hat | Hoops

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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New Year’s resolutions are all about reflecting on the past year and making strides to a better and more successful year to come. I generally set the same goals: exercise patience, be more active, use my bike more to get around, travel somewhere new, etc. I’m generally pretty good about following through, but sometimes it’s difficult to get started. We all need some “finspiration” every now and then to kick things off. Start out with these:

Get Moving and Stay Moving

Home Gym

Create your own home gym with inspiration from HGTV.com:

Peaceful, Serene Exercise Rooms
Put a Gym Anywhere in Your Home
Home Gyms for Him
Spa-Inspired Master Bathroom With a Home Gym
Step Into Actor Mario Lopez’s Exercise Space

Do Activities You Love, or Try Something New

Yoga Space

Check out these inspiring designs for creating an at-home yoga space:

Outdoor Yoga Pavilion by Jamie Durie
Tranquil Yoga Room by Brian Patrick Flynn
Asian-Inspired Yoga Space by Andreas Charalambous
Meditation + Yoga Room by Lori Dennis

Try Out Yummy, Healthy Recipes

Chicken-Stuffed Pitas

Dive into our favorite healthy recipes:

Garden Vegetable Soup
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries + Pine Nuts
Chicken-Stuffed Pitas
Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Walnuts
Roasted Butternut Squash With Sage + Pumpkin Seeds
Taleggio Crostini With Apple + Thyme Honey
Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

More Resolution-Friendly Ideas

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Tonight’s the big game! This year’s BCS National Championship game will pit the Florida State Seminoles against the Auburn Tigers at California’s Rose Bowl Stadium. Throwing a watch party? Ditch the store-bought chips and salsa and give one of these handmade recipes a try. [Prepare for nervous eating by making more than you need.]

Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Recipes

Get the Recipe: Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese >>

Pizza Hand Pies Recipe

Get the Recipe: Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Hand Pies >>

Eggplant Chips Recipe

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto >>

Get More Party-Perfect Recipes

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Brrrrr! It’s cold outside, y’all. Stay inside, make a batch of hot cocoa and craft your heart out until spring.

Mood Board Monday: SnowflakesSisters | Tree | Drink Stirrer | Sweater | Bedroom | Mantel | Mask | Cocoa | Hanging Snowflakes | Cookies | Print

Our favorite snowflake crafts:

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

 

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The holidays may be over, but we still have months of harsh winter weather left to endure (unless you’re one of those fortunate people that live in a nice, warm climate). Don’t let freezing temperatures get you down! Check out these eight winter decorating and entertaining ideas you can enjoy throughout the season.

Bundle Up Your Bedroom With Texture + Metallics

Winter Bedroom Design

See the Photos: A Sophisticated Bedroom Fit for Winter Guests >>

Throw an Unexpected Outdoor Party

Host a Winter Party

See the Photos: Host a Wintertime Picnic in the Park >>

More Fresh Winter Design Trends

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Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, friends! I hope you have your most sparkly attire and champagne flutes ready to ring in 2014. Me? I’ll be surrounded by my closest friends when the clock strikes midnight and decked out in sequins. What are your plans for the big night and day?

Mood Board Monday: SequinsDress | Champagne | Flowers | Bow | Sequins | Skirt | Table | New Year

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Name that movie: “Well, I see it still smells like pine needles around here.” Hint: It’s a classic holiday movie released on Christmas Day in 1946.

Mood Board Monday: Pine NeedlesTree | Cocktail | Necklace | Tassels | Print | It’s a Wonderful Life | Tea | Napkin Ring | Embroidery

It’s a Wonderful Life is my all-time favorite holiday movie. Every year, I watch it on the big screen at our local historic theater. That’s definitely one of my favorite traditions of the season. Share yours!

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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On Christmas Eve/Christmas morning I’m typically tapping my toes waiting on water to boil while trying to time one dish with another, then fitting in a sitcom while waiting on my oven to preheat (ridiculous!). My ancient appliances take all the fun out of holiday cooking. If you’ve seen our Holiday House kitchen remodel, then you know a modern update can make a huge difference, especially during the busiest time of the year.

Modern Gray Kitchen Makeover

Designer Laurie March outfitted the once contractor-grade kitchen into a cost-saving yet custom masterpiece with brand-new appliances just in time for holiday cooking. To create a more space-saving solution, she chose a microwave range above the induction cook top. This frees up countertop space and is more cost-efficient, too.

Modern Gray Kitchen Makeover

So, what do you do with all that extra countertop space? Set up a sweet and savory holiday brunch buffet, of course! Laurie’s efficient kitchen layout is perfect for holiday entertaining. The remodel’s biggest splurge, a storage-packed, concrete-topped island, is the ideal spot for setting up a Christmas morning spread. Plus, it’s right beside the oven for a quick warm-up.

Holiday Brunch Ideas

Get your home in tip-top shape before the holidays with our must-try projects from HGTV’s Holiday House.

Frigidaire Gallery Freestanding Induction Range helps you get your holiday meals to the table faster. The induction cook top has a Quick Boil feature that brings water to a boil in less than 2 minutes. The oven also has a 6-minute preheat, so you get all of your dishes in faster. Since induction heats the pan and not the cook top, spills can’t burn to the surface, reducing overall cleaning time. Induction cooking uses the pan as a heat source rather than the cook top, creating more versatile, efficient and responsive results. You will also be able to keep all of your side dishes warm in the Keep Warm Zone that keeps food warm until everything — and everyone — is ready.

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Just like pumpkin in the fall, I flavor everything with gingerbread during the holiday season. Traditional gingerbread cookies are great, but why not spice up cocoa, pies and cakes with this classic flavor? Try out some of our favorite ideas just in time for Christmas guests.

Mood Board Monday: GingerbreadMini Houses | Sweater | Cookies | Skirt | House | Cocoa | Cheesecakes | Cake Pops | Ornament

Our favorite ways to use gingerbread:

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Home for the HolidaysWhen it comes to hosting, I’m all about making the party look like a million bucks without putting a significant amount of effort into it. Your company is likely coming because of you and those around you, so the food and drinks are just a bonus. Hence, today’s post: dressing up a store-bought bottle of champagne with tasty garnishes … in seconds. I’m serious. I prepped most of these the night before, then popped them in the glass right before our holiday party shoot. Voila! You’ll basically have five fun drink options for your guests right from one bottle.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Our Five Garnishes:

Star Fruit
Gold Sugar Sprinkles
Candied Cranberries, Raspberries + Blueberries on Skewers
Rosemary Sprigs + Pomegranate Seeds
Rock Candy

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Keri sips on champagne garnished with rosemary and pomegranate, while Kristen drinks the party’s signature cocktail.

For the Star Fruit Garnish: Slice the star fruit while on its side into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut a slit halfway down the middle so the star can sit on the rim of the champagne glass.

For the Gold Sugar Sprinkles: Sprinkle gold sugar onto a plate. Wet the rim of each champagne glass, then dip into the sprinkles so the rim is entirely covered.

For the Candied Fruit Skewers: Skewer assorted fresh fruits (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries) on a small wooden stick. Rinse with water, then generously sprinkle with sugar. Freeze until ready to use.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Marianne drinks champagne flavored with orange rock candy.

For the Rosemary and Pomegranate: Sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds into the champagne, then top with a fresh sprig of rosemary.

For the Rock Candy: Put a rock candy stick or rock candy crystals (any flavor you desire) into a champagne glass. Pour champagne over the rock candy in the glass. Watch the drink fizzle and the color change. Soon, the drink will take on a sweet, candy-like taste.

Get more ideas from our holiday bar:

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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Did you know that December 24th is not only Christmas Eve but National Eggnog Day, too? In 1826, U.S. soldiers smuggled inexpensive whiskey into the barracks at the United States Military Academy to make eggnog for Christmas Day, an event now known as the Eggnog Riot. Originally crafted in Europe centuries ago, eggnog eventually crossed the Atlantic and made its way into our hearts, becoming a holiday staple across the country.

Keeping the holiday tradition alive, the mixologists at Mulberry Project in New York combined classic family recipes with their expertise to create a delicious adult eggnog recipe.

Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Eggnog Cocktail

Ingredients

1 ounce white port wine
2 ounces white rum
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
3/4 cup milk
dash vanilla extract
cinnamon, for garnish

Instructions

Dry shake for 2 minutes, and then shake with ice for 1 minute. Lastly, sprinkle the edges of the glass with cinnamon. Drink up and enjoy!

Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Photos by Monica Muller of Mulberry Project

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If you’ve been following our holiday party coverage, then you’ve seen everything from how to prepare a cheese plate to how to hang a branch chandelier. We’re not just showcasing holiday food and decor over here, though. We’ve got festive party attire that’s perfect for upcoming shindigs. As a matter of fact, my sister borrowed the handmade glitter shoes I debuted last week to wear to a holiday party.

Walk in the door sparkling from head to toe with an easy-to-make, ’20s-inspired headband. You may even have everything you need on hand for this project.

Home for the Holidays: '20s Headband

Photo by Jeff Romaniuk

DIY '20s Headband

Here’s what you’ll need:

one yard neutral grosgrain ribbon
assorted ribbon trim
feathers (optional)
brooch (optional)
hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
scissors

First, measure the grosgrain base ribbon around your head and make sure you leave enough excess to tie. Cut the ribbon’s ends at a neat diagonal. After your headband ribbon is measured, you can apply your assorted ribbon trim as freely and creatively as you like. I glued my three favorite pieces of metallic trim onto the ribbon and allowed them to dry before applying the brooch embellishment. Since our party hues included plum and mixed metallics, I thought this brooch was a perfect fit. Pin on your embellishment, tie on your headband and that’s it!

More holiday attire you can make:

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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I. Love. Plaid. It brings a classic holiday touch to modern spaces and instantly warms up any space. And let’s face it, as much as we tried to forget about plaid years ago, it’s a cold-weather staple that will truly never go out of style.

Mood Board Monday: Tartan PlaidScarf | Deer Print | Throw | Table Setting | Pants | Gifts | Blazer | Table Setting | Cat

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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I’ve been wanting to glitter shoes for a while now, but I didn’t have a pair I was willing to transform just yet. It wasn’t until that last toe-stubbing moment I couldn’t shine out that I decided these heeled loafers were ready to be beautified.

I decided to go for a wintry, metallic color scheme that would look perfect with my cream holiday dresses, plum accents (like those tights) and even black. They made their debut at our uber-festive holiday party a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to wear them again! The best part? I’m a perfectionist and I was done with this project in less than an hour.

Home for the Holidays: DIY Glitter ShoesPhoto by Jeff Romaniuk

Here’s what you’ll need:

shoes
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre Finish
ultra-fine glitter (in desired color)
painter’s tape
paintbrush with synthetic bristles
polyurethane spray
plastic container (for mixing glitter + glue)
drop cloth
ribbon for laces (optional)
spray paint (optional)

Get the complete step-by-step instructions here >>

Check back next week for more holiday party fashion you can make before your upcoming soiree.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

  • Tell Your Friends

Welcome to December, friends! From festive string lights lining the city streets to holiday tunes jazzing up local shops, this month couldn’t get any better. What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Eggnog? Gingerbread?

Mood Board Monday: Christmas HollyHair Clip | Vintage Cat Card | Vintage Kid Card | Holly | Cake | Cupcake| Cocktail | Garland

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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