December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

[image via]

Happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas and wishes for a fabulous 2009!

I'll be on vacation and traveling from now through the New Year so look for regular posts to resume in January. Here's to a 2009 filled with excellent entertaining ideas and inspiration!

December 18, 2008

Elegant Appetizers

You can never have enough appetizer recipes, especially around the holidays with multitude of parties and get-togethers. Consider serving a few of these delicacies at your upcoming holiday gatherings.

December 17, 2008

Christmas Table Details

Adorn your Christmas tabletop with lovely place cards or place setting decorations. Here are several DIY ideas to inspire your holiday tablesettings.

- Paper plate angels
- Crepe-paper bells
- Vintage scroll with holly
- Christmas tree place cards
- Green bow napkin decoration
- Holly jolly place setting
- Candy cane place cards
- Paper tree place cards
- Tree-shaped napkin rings

December 16, 2008

A Glamorous New Year's Dinner

There's nothing quite like the elegant combination of black and white. It's sophisticated, timeless and, in the right setting, so very glam. So, what better combination than black and white for an extravagant and glamour-filled new year's eve dinner.

The images above all come from a 1940's inspired home collection by Ralph Lauren. (via Toast and Tables)

December 15, 2008

Handmade Hanukkah Inspiration

As time passes by, we are getting closer and closer to Hanukkah and Christmas. Today, I thought I'd feature some homemade elements to add to your Hanukkah celebration. All from Martha Stewart, these ideas are sure to add to you holiday fun.

- Paper chains and dreidels made of light blue, silver and white construction paper
- Glittered dreidels make a great centerpiece or decoration (made from plain wood dreidels with colored glitter)
- Craft your own stylish gelt wrappers
- A glittered Hanukkah dessert of sufganiyot (or jelly doughnuts)
- Assemble your own menorah made of water glasses, silvers beads and blue candles
- Dreidel gift card holders could also serve as a place card or as invitations

December 12, 2008

A Good Will Cookie Party

Cookies are a delicious and fun part of the holidays. I have many memories of spending time in the kitchen with my Mom learning to make our family's favorites. Cookies seem to have a way of bringing us together and are a perfect theme for a holiday party. You've probably heard of a cookie exchange party (where everyone brings a different treat to share) but why not take that concept and help spread joy this holiday season. Invite friends to bring a few dozen cookies in addition to supplies for making cookie packages. Group a few different cookies and spend time together wrapping them up in creative bundles or boxes. Then, target a group of people, whether you know them or not, and hand them out. Imagine the fun you'll have with your friends, in addition to helping make the day of those you give an out-of-the-blue gift of yummy cookies.

Above are a few new favorites from Martha Stewart to add to your recipe box. Pictures and recipes can be found here. Below are some suggestions for lovely ways to present your cookie packages (also from Martha Stewart).

December 11, 2008

A Stylish Snowflake Wedding

Today's post shows a different take on a snowflake-themed wedding for the winter season. Instead of using snowflakes in every element, use them conservatively for an elegant and lovely motif.

- This pretty centerpiece features some snowflake shaped votive holders in combination with holiday balls in shades of light blue, teal and brown
- Really neat DIY place cards that each feature a unique, creative snowflake
- A spread of cheeses, fruits, etc attractively laid out with light blue cards denoting each type of cheese [Martha Stewart via Snippet & Ink]
- Chocolate ganache cookies have a snowflake-esc feel to them (though you could use a snowflake cookie cutter to get the exact shape)
- Snowflake wine stopper cutely packaged and placed atop a table setting with a light blue napkin and white dinnerware

December 10, 2008

Christmas Lunch Menu

Today's post features a menu for Christmas lunch. Consider the delicious recipes below for your holiday gathering.

- Aromatic Spiced Ham
- Goat Cheese Mashed Potato Gratin
- Christmas Chutney
- Winter Salad with Toasted Mustard Seed Vinaigrette
- Poinsettia Cocktail
- Black Pepper Biscuits

December 9, 2008

A Classical New Year's Gathering

For this New Year's eve consider looking backwards instead of forwards (in your theme at least!) Gather some classic and golden elements to throw a glamorous old world fete for your closest friends and family.
- Gold brocade placemat and napkin from Crate and Barrel
- DIY round favor boxes filled with sparkly costume jewelry also serve as table numbers or place cards [via Matthew Mead]
- Decorative gold wall decor [via Matthew Mead]
- DIY varied old world gift or favor tags [via Matthew Mead]
- Golden mercury glass candleholders from West Elm
- Marie Antoinette ornamental gold border dinnerware by Raynaud

December 8, 2008

Holiday Host & Hostess Gifts

Ready yourself with some great host and hostess gifts for all the holiday parties you will attend this season. Here are a few new suggestions for any price range:

- President Brie and Camembert- great for any gathering, delicious gourmet cheeses and crackers can act as a contribution to the party or as a treat to be enjoyed afterwords by the hosts.
- Monogrammed colored glass cocktail shakers are a festive and personalized gift for the mixologist.
- Photo coasters in a wooden holder are perfect a family of hosts who want to showcase favorite pictures.
- Slightly more expensive but definitely a thoughtful and lasting gift, the hot sauce of the month club would be fitting for the experimental chef (For more cost-conscious giving, assemble a basket with a few select sauces instead.)
- Cute and clever, these number wine charms are the helpful hostess gift that allow every guest to know which glass is theirs.
- Holiday hand-dipped strawberries are an easy and delicious gift for any host or hostess.
- This lovely wine decanter is a luxurious but affordable gift for the wine connoisseur.
- Thinking outside the box is always appreciated. Subscriptions to food and entertaining magazines, such as Bon Appetit and Gourmet are a year-long gift for the ultimate host.

December 5, 2008

Holiday Cocktails

The holidays are a time to get creative with your cocktails! Play up the different flavors, color schemes and elements that are part of Christmas traditions. The cocktails shown above not only look delicious- they have equally enticing names.

- Gingerbread Apple Crisp
- Kentucky Egg Nog
- Two Turtle Doves
- Nutcracker Sweet
- Mistletoe Kiss

December 3, 2008

Oh Baby! Bright & Modern Spa Baby Shower

Daysi emailed in asking for some inspiration for a modern and warm multi-colored spa baby shower. There are many things you can do to make a home environment into a spa setting. Light tons of votive candles to create a nice ambiance. Purchase or create cds to provide soothing background music. Give each guest a pair of slippers which also can serve as a favor. Though this may be a little costly, consider hiring a masseuse to give 10 minute massages to the guest of honor and all guests.

- Modern and fun, this place setting combines a bright dotted placemat and a contemporary floral napkin [via HWTM]
- As a fun but low-key activity have guests help read a few children's books aloud. How great for your little one to have these recordings of friends and family reading to them as they grow older. Idea and cute packaging from Martha Stewart.
- Give the mom-to-be a color-coordinated spa gift basket [image via flickr user Gift Guru]
- Cute, modern silver favor bags can hold spa supplies like nail polish, nail files, samples of perfumes, etc
- Fresh florals in a vase decorated with a coordinating contemporary flower design [via HWTM]
- Customized water bottles fit the colorful theme and add the ultimate healthy spa beverage [via HWTM]

December 2, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas Party

Today's post is for a very merry Christmas party! Invite friends and family to celebrate the holidays with an evening of deep red and vibrant green Christmas spirit.

- Stunning centerpiece from Pottery Barn combining fruits, florals, candles, trees in shades of deep red, bright green and shiny silver
- Place setting consisting of birch dinnerware (ties in to the birch candles in the centerpiece) and an ecru place card adorned with deep red ribbon
- Holiday themed favors are fitting - consider this peppermint fondue wrapped in dark red
- Attractive and tasty, this cranberry punch is texture-rich and flavorful
- Bright green foil tray is a great solution for transporting appetizers, drinks or dinner dishes

December 1, 2008

3 Winners of entertaining simple!

Thanks so much to all who entered to win 1 of 3 copies of Michael Mead's entertaining simple. You all have so much good entertaining advice and tips/tricks to share - hopefully this helped others learn how to make entertaining a little easier. And now here are the 3 lucky readers who have won:

1) Melanie who said: I find that when I keep things simple, the food and colors etc, my life as a hostess is much simpler. I have a nice set of white china that I can use for ever occasion by changing my other decor and napkin colors etc. This also cuts down on price.

2) Dawn who said: My entertaining trick is to have a signature cocktail/mocktail. Always have a fun drink to match your theme, even if it means giving a regular drink a new name and serve in a fun glass. In the past, we've had "Chocolatinis" at Christmas, apple-ginger sparklers garnished with cinnamon stick stirrers in martini glasses, and "Blue Lagoon" (blue punch) in clear tumblers with drink umbrellas.

3) Michelle who said: No party is good without candlelight! Candles make everything look beautiful.

Congrats to all the winners! Please email me at rebecca [at] with your name and mailing address so I can get the books sent out to you!

Thanks again to all who entered!


Lifestyle Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Add to Technorati Favorites

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License

Images contained within inspiration boards on this blog are the property of their respective companies. Please see the
individual post for details and links. If you represent one of these companies and prefer your images not be used
and/or be removed from this site please contact me immediately at rebecca [at]