I love a party, so when I heard about the Design Happens/Made + Remade holiday party, I jumped at the chance to contribute. And I must say, the projects I made for this party are among some of the favorite things I’ve ever made, ever. To kick things off, my sights were set on the food table. I dusted off a wood burning tool and made this rustic modern cheese board — I don’t think I’ve used one of these tools since summer camp!
This cheese board is a simple afternoon project that you will use for Thanksgiving straight through to New Years Eve, and did I mention it also makes a lovely hostess gift?
Stick around, in the coming weeks I’ll show you how to top that board with the perfect cheeses, as well as gift wrap, entertaining, and holiday decorating ideas. It’s gonna be fun, y’all.
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.
Congratulations to our winner Josh, who loves to mix up pumpkin martinis with a cinnamon and sugar rim. Come back on November 1 for another great giveaway.
I tend to go a little overboard with Halloween party preparations. Partly because I’m a lifestyle editor and partly because Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, I’ve been thinking about pumpkins, DIY costumes and creepy food for months. But you can still have a low-stress Halloween gathering even if you haven’t planned a thing until this very minute. Yes, really.
Here’s your game plan: Make a sweet and a savory snack (say, maple nut popcorn and creepy chips with guacamole) and both kid- and adult-friendly punches. Kids will love our cemetery slime punch (complete with gummy worms!), and adults will be crazy for this Pumpkin Spice Sangria served inside a pumpkin. For a large group, ask guests to bring an additional appetizer or drink to share.
To help you out with last-minute decorations, we’ve partnered with Target to give one lucky Design Happens reader a free party pack complete with plates, napkins, straws, decorations and more. Read on for the full Pumpkin Spice Sangria recipe, plus enter for a chance to win this party pack.
ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN
If her irreverent personality and great fashion sense weren’t enough to make you love Nicole Richie, just look at her backyard:
When she’s not acting or designing pieces for her House of Harlow collection, she loves to entertain outdoors at the Laurel Canyon, Calif. home she shares with husband and Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, daughter Harlow, 5, and son Sparrow, 3.
She can’t stand the b-word (bohemian, that is), so she designed the outdoor space with a “relaxed and eclectic vibe” in mind. Richie unveiled the newly-revamped space to Domaine Home at a recent dinner party. It’s a stunning mix of classic outdoor elements (like natural stone) paired with modern touches like mismatched, industrial metal chairs. See the entire space here >>
On her backyard color palette: “It was important to me to keep the color palette strong but not too overpowering. We’re all about having everything be really eclectic and relaxed.” She settled on turquoise, yellow and black as a unifying colorway for her.
On dinner party seating charts: “I’m against assigned seating. I like people to come to my house and feel like they can do whatever they want.”
On her design aesthetic: “My house has that summery look and feel all year round…luckily for me I live in LA and can get away with it.”
On her home: “Our house is the one people come to, to hang.”
Nicole, feel free to invite me over anytime! Photos by Justin Coit for Domaine Home
We can’t all throw lavish parties on the scale of Jay Gatsby, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate today’s release of Baz Luhrmann’s take on Fitzgerald’s classic novel. Grab a gin-based cocktail (no bathtub required) and celebrate The Great Gatsby with vintage accessories and our free 1920s printables.
To recreate the lavish style on a dime, print out our free printable Great Gatsby and Classic Glam accessories, then cut out and attach to wooden skewers with double-sided tape or hot glue.
DOWNLOAD THE GREAT GATSBY PARTY PRINTABLES >>
DOWNLOAD THE CLASSIC GLAM PARTY PRINTABLES >>
SEE MORE GREAT GATSBY PARTY OUTFIT STYLE
And they’re off! Well, not just yet — but Saturday, the Kentucky Derby will be run and that means there’s another excuse to throw a shindig. And, of course, you’re going to need a dessert for your party. Bridget from Bake at 350 has the perfect sweet for you to serve — Kentucky Derby Cookies!
Head to the Races:
Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe
Jockey Table Lamp
Even though I graduated from high school several years back (OK, maybe more than “several”), I still get very excited every late April/early May as students prepare for their own graduations. This time of year is when invitations go flying out, gifts/checks start coming back and if you’re really lucky, your family begins planning a celebration for you because, well — they’re just so darn proud. It’s an all-round happy-go-lucky time. It all makes me want to be a kid, er — “young adult” again.
So, yes — this is why I’m focusing so much on graduation party ideas — I’m looking on with nostalgic envy at the students who will be having them. And, look at what I’ve found today for your 2013 graduate. Who wouldn’t be out-of-this-world thrilled over these adorable candy cup caps from Bakerella?
Itty-bitty candy cup graduation caps from Bakerella
Did you have a party when you graduated from high school (or even college)? Tell me about it in the Comments.
Bloody Marys and brunch go together like, well, Bloody Marys and brunch. While the classic Bloody Mary starts with a vodka base, this spicy interpretation from Elise of A Beautiful Mess begins with a generous helping of curry-spiced, tea-infused tequila. Mix it up with carrot juice, Bloody Mary mix and a few shakes of hot sauce.
Make this drink spring brunch-ready by serving in a mason jar with a salted rim. Garnish with a fresh veggie skewer, a slice of lime and the traditional stalk of celery. What are you waiting for? Mix one up this weekend.
Get the Recipe
Decorating eggs is an Easter rite of passage for me and my sister. We’re not doing it “for the kids” since neither of us have any (yet); we just love sketching, coloring and creating our own designs. If you use real eggs like we do, there’s a secondary benefit: Once you’re done admiring your tie-dyed handiwork, you can eat your art (well, you know, the inside part.)
At best, hard-boiled eggs are tender and delicious; at worst, they’re overcooked and rubbery with a greenish tint. Whether you’re making egg salad or deviled eggs this Easter, try this simple technique to get hard-boiled eggs that are delicious every time.
Get Easy Hard-Boiled Egg Instructions
If you’re a baker, you’ve likely had that moment of panic in the middle of a tedious decorating project. Since I’m a late-night gal, mine usually happens about 2 a.m. when I’m, say, painstakingly weaving lattice crusts for 100 mini apple pies. Most times, it’s worth the extra effort in the end (who doesn’t love a mini apple pie?!), but when you’re entertaining, simpler is usually better.
That’s why I set out to simplify my Easter cupcakes this year: You can start each of these designs with the same lemon-scented cupcake recipe and vanilla buttercream frosting, and all of the toppings are things you’ll likely find at your local supermarket.
These bite-sized mini cupcake chicks, for instance, start with a layer of robin’s egg blue frosting. Add a couple of mini chocolate chip eyes and turn two triangles of fruit leather into an edible beak, then tuck them into a “nest” of shredded paper or Easter grass.
This next cupcake is an ode to our March Color of the Month: a mini garden plot of carrots! Dip a frosted cupcake into crushed chocolate graham crackers, then push chunks of coconut-peanut butter candy as carrot stand-ins. Top the “carrots” with a dollop of orange frosting and add a few pieces of green licorice as leaves. I used half of a craft stick as a crop marker, but you could also write on Easter guests’ names and use the cupcakes as tasty place cards.
More Easy Cupcake Decorating Ideas
Easter celebrations are right around the corner — time to banish winter blahs and freshen up indoors and out with a few springy touches. We’ve gathered 25 of our favorite Easter decorating ideas to inspire you. From quick-and-easy centerpiece ideas to a clever way to glam up your Easter eggs to a free, printable Easter banner — we’ve got you covered.
All 25 ideas have the official Easter Bunny stamp of approval (seriously!) but here are my 5 favorites:
Delight Easter guests with this creative place setting idea featuring cute (and oh-so-fluffy!) feathered chicks and candy eggs:
Weather permitting, bring your dining table and chairs outside and enjoy Easter dinner al fresco surrounded by Mother Nature’s changing scenery.