Monday, February 28, 2011

Is your hand in the cookie jar?

I'm all about favors....especially ones that are edible! I've often seen "candy" bars at parties, but I am LOVING this idea of a cookie bar. These sweet treats are definitely more up my alley. I would get caught with my hand in the cookie jar all night long!

Image via Martha Stewart

Monday, February 21, 2011


I know Valentine's Day has come and gone, but I just couldn't help but share this fabulous floral arrangement. I am pretty crazy about the alphabet mugs from Anthropologie...I bought myself one a few weeks ago to hold  pens in my home office. But, I just L-O-V-E this use for them! I can totally see this at a wedding/wedding shower or a Valentine's party.  The more creative the vase...the more "stand out" the floral arrangement can be!

Image via Style Me Pretty

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Recap

I knew when my husband told me he was taking care of dinner for Valentine's Day that I was in store for something good. He is fabulous in the kitchen, and yes...I do know how LUCKY I am to have a husband who cooks. Over the weekend he had me fooled that he was going to be grilling steaks for our Valentine's Dinner, so you can imagine my surprise when I walked into our kitchen to find all the fixings for homemade sushi! We had been talking about picking up a sushi kit for some time know, but had just never gotten around to it....until now....

It was actually a lot easier to make sushi than I thought, but I guess that is easy for me to say since I didn't make the rice! Perhaps I should say ASSEMBLING the sushi was easy and fun :)!

All you have to do is....
                                    1. Put a layer down of rice on the sushi mat
2. Add nori on top
3. Add your fixings
4. And start rolling!

Our sushi definitely would not win an award for best looking, but our rolls were really delicious! So if you are thinking about taking the plunge and making sushi at home, I highly recommend it!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wrap it Up Pretty!

Not only do a love a great gift, but I am crazy about stylish packaging. I've always saved beautiful boxes and gorgeous ribbon....I know it sounds silly, but I just can't help it! Taking time to wrap a gift in a meaningful way...(for example, the heart wax paper for the delicious Valentine's treats)...really sets your gift apart from the rest! I don't know about you but creative wrapping will win me over every time...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Image via Martha Stewart

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beat the Winter Blues

During the cold winter months it is easy to hibernate, but the best way to beat the winter blues is to cozy up next to the fire with good friends and a delicious meal. Trade in your flannel pj's for a party dress and invite friends over for dinner.  The best advice for entertaining good friends is to keep it simple. Your guests would much rather you be present for the lively conversation than tied up in the kitchen.  Make what you can in advance so you can remain stress free when your company arrives. For cold winter months, chili is a great option. Who doesn't love a meal that will warm them up when the temperature is dropping outside? Add a twist to your traditional chili by incorporating southwest flavors and dark ale. This is a recipe that will surely have your guests asking for a second helping...

Fireside Chili
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 16oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Toasted Cumin Sour Cream (recipe below) 
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Add the ground beef and sauté until browned. Transfer the meat to a plate and drain excess grease. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft (About 8 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes (be careful not to let the garlic burn). Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add the beer and cook until the beer is completely reduced. Return the beef to the pot, add the chicken stock, tomatoes, honey, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir in the beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes.  Taste the chili and add salt or pepper to fit your taste.  Remove from the heat. 
Toasted Cumin Sour Cream:
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Place the cumin in a small sauté pan over medium heat and toast until lightly golden brown. In a small bowl, combine the toasted cumin, sour cream, lime juice.  Stir the mixture until creamy and season with salt and pepper. 

Your chili will not only taste delicious, but it will look fabulous in a classic white bowl.  The focus will be on the pops of flavor in the chili, and not on the color or pattern of your dinnerware. This "chili" bowl from Crate and Barrel is perfect for serving your guests.

The last detail to take care of for your dinner party is the table.  Instead of using flowers for your centerpiece, put a couple of candles in a shallow dish filled with dried beans. Not only does this centerpiece save you time and money, but it looks super chic. In addition, the candles will provide the perfect ambiance for this cozy winter meal.

Images via Crate and Barrel and Martha Stewart

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chic Links

I love everything about this child's table decorated for Valentine's Day. The red backpack is essential for all the Valentine's cards that will surely be coming from classmates and friends...the red boots are the perfect accessory for a February day...the mugs filled with hot chocolate will surely warm up any heart.... and who doesn't like a festive centerpiece?

Here are some links I've enjoyed around the web....enjoy  your weekend!

This jewelry party is adorable!

I'm loving this night of glitzy gold!!

I've gotta try this DIY Valentine's wreath.

I am CRAZY about this sweet Valentine's Day photo shoot!!

This Oscar Party inspiration makes me want to put a ball gown on and celebrate...

Photo by Samantha Cabrera, via Sarah's Party Perfect

Thursday, February 10, 2011


With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I can't seem to get sweets off my mind! Usually I associate Valentine's Day with the traditional box of chocolates, but it is time for me to step "outside the box" and think more creatively when it comes to celebrating this special day. These heart shaped red velvet whoopie pies could not be more perfect! I love the addition of red and white baker's twine to wrap up the whoopie pies into a sweet little package. This is definitely a Valentine's gift I would love to receive!

Image via Paiges of Style

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love is in the Air

I am so loving these burlap banners from Victorian Station on Etsy. You know my obsession with burlap runs deep, and when you combine it with banners, well I'm sold! I think banners are such a fun and festive touch to any celebration. So, if you are hosting a Valentine's party this year...whether its a single mingle or a coed gathering, one of these banners will surely add some spice!

Images via Victorian Station

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love Letters

I have one of the world's biggest sweet tooths, which means I am always looking for something sweet to end every meal. I love cupcakes, cakes, pies, candies, chocolates, name it, and its probably on my "sweet" list. Whenever I host a party, dessert is a MUST! I think it is so fun to try to come up with a fun twist on a traditional dessert that not only tastes good, but serves as "eye" candy too! I recently discovered Sweetapolita's blog  and I am absolutely crazy about her sweets...especially these "love letter" cookies and hearts. They are just perfect for a Valentine's party....

Images via Sweetapolita

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I absolutely LOVE the addition of tulle to this table. It adds a whimsical and romantic touch that has my heart skipping a beat! What a great way to make a big impact with your tablescape without breaking the bank! I think this would be perfect for a wedding or bridal shower....

Image via Style Me Pretty

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm officially hooked...

...on High Gloss! This online magazine is the ultimate eye candy. It is dripping with most AH-mazing interiors, fabulous fashion advice, travel that has me wanting to go on holiday and of course what I love most - entertaining ideas!

To see some of the oh-so-chic parties featured, click here and here!

Image via Elements of Style

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

'Tis the Season of LOVE

I can't believe its already February! Its time for sweet treats, love notes, a little bubbly and lots and lots of sugar...and I'm not referring to the kind you buy at the grocery :). No matter what your party plans are for Valentine's Day, Tiny Prints has got an invitation for you! Here are a couple of my favorites...

Images via Tiny Prints