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Category: Party Style Party Style

Using Technology for an Easy Open Bar

intel open bar

New Years Eve is right around the corner and I’m still a little on the fence about what I’m doing.  I know I’ll be wearing this DIY from my post this morning, but as far as the rest, I’m bordering on just having another party at our house, but was a little stumped after my Christmas Eve soiree about what else to pull out of my hat.

I’m not a huge mixed drink person.  I love a good champagne cocktail, but stick mostly with red wine.  When we have guests and someone wants to know what is in a ‘Bay Breeze’, I wouldn’t be able to help them out.  I had my Samsung Tab sitting near the bar last week during Christmas, however, and got a brilliant idea to just use it for an ‘open bar’ concept.  For tips on creating a fun, interactive bar with your tablet, I have just a few thoughts.  Continue Reading…

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Sparkling Christmas Cocktails

holiday cocktail recipe cranberry

Happy Christmas Eve!  I hope you’re home, spending some relaxing time with family and friends.  I’m preparing for a little cocktail party that I like to have on Christmas eve which incorporates both sides of our families and any friends who wish to stop by.

Since we don’t have children, I always felt like Christmas eve was lacking some sort of spark.  We don’t set out milk & cookies for Santa or read “T’was the night before Christmas”, but we still want to do something festive with those we love.  So, we started having this cocktail party and made the ‘eve’ about just hanging out and really letting the joy of the season set in with anyone who has the time to swing out to our place.  Last year I think we got into playing cards and listening to carols.

christmas champagne cocktail

This year, I’ve got a full menu planned out with heavy nibbles (mini ham sammys, cheese straws, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, a giant cheese tray, and lots of cookies!).  Aside from the food, I like to make a very festive cocktail.  It’s really the only night of the year I feel compelled to make my big manly guy friends drink frilly drinks from gold confetti glasses. They might retire to the scotch after a few, but the ‘signature’ cocktail definitely takes a load off my shoulders when it comes to setting up a bar for such a wide range of people who come through.

For my signature cocktail this year, I’m making a Sparkling Cranberry Blush.  It’s so easy and SO good.  Keep on for the full recipe and some very fun tips to keep the drink festive!

Continue Reading…

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No Poinsettias for Christmas

christmas flower arrangements

I don’t love poinsettia’s.  I don’t know why, they just seem antiquated to me and remind me of times gone past… but not in a great way.  They can still be done well (a full poinsettia tree would be awesome!), but for a party, you can make a much better option.

I used just a couple of everyday blooms to get this simple, but seasonal look.  Roses and tulips, along with a couple of more seasonal fillers and greens – spruce, red berries, and eucalyptus – look gorgeous together.  With just these five pieces, and the same exact tips I used on my ‘market bunch’ tutorial, you can get a really beautiful arrangement for the holiday that is a little more modern than the norm.

white flowers christmas entertaining copy

christmas centerpiece flowers

christmas flower arrange

As always, having fresh flowers in my house is a must.  The great part about going the extra mile to put together a custom arrangement is that the blooms bought make more than just one bouquet.  With the flowers I bought, I was able to make a large arrangement for the kitchen (shown here), a small arrangement for the bar, a vase full of tulips for my bedside table, and two bud vases for the bathroom and office. Now, that’s getting my $15 worth!

 

Tell me, do you buy individual blooms to create your own bouquet? Do you think you’ll give it a try now?

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Holiday Hot Chocolate Cart

dessert bar hot chocolate

This time of year, there are so many parties, that it can get a little bit dizzying to think of something fun and unique to do when having friends over.  I wanted to show you guys an easy idea that could probably be done with stuff you already have at home, but putting it all together in a cute way is something that visitors will definitely remember you for.

The hot chocolate bar cart is completely simple and fun.  If you’ve served a large dinner, having a warm drink afterwards is a nice change from a heavy dessert, and if you’re offering snacks and apps, a hot chocolate bar makes a wonderful complement to your desserts.

christmas hot chocolate how to make a hot chocolate bar

I went with a ‘retro cabin’ type look since my Christmas decor scheme is ‘cozy cabin’.  Arrange it on a fun and festive cart like this one (which is for rent!!) or a console table in your living room.  I like the idea of locating the desserts and after dinner drinks in the living area so people will gravitate there and sit, sip, and socialize for the rest of the night.  There are a few must-haves on my list for styling yourself the perfect hot chocolate bar.

Continue Reading…

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What to Wear for Holiday Entertaining

what to wear when your hosting

So, fashion isn’t really something that I cover here on House of Earnest, but if you follow me on instagram, you know I love sharing my outfits.  Since I spent 7 years working in the fashion industry, it’s definitely ingrained in me, but was sort of a conflict of interest to post about fashion while I was working at my last job.  So – I’m free and going to take the opportunity to share a little fashion with you guys today.

thread entertaining outfit

If you all don’t know about the shop Thread, it’s one of my favorite local boutiques and somewhere you can really find unique designer (and phenomenal artists’) goodies that we sometimes have trouble finding in the midwest.  Believe me, after traveling around the world, I have a bit of a picky palette.

Onto the issue at hand.  When entertaining friends and family (which is so prevalent around the holidays) I have a very specific ‘wardrobe’ that is my go-to.  I vary this wardrobe formula here and there, but there are a few basic tips that I follow for my shin-digs.

  • No sleeves – it gets hot when you’re running around, pulling stuff out of the oven, drinking libations, and entertaining your buns off.
  • Chiffon or satin top, something breezy… for the aforementioned reason.
  • Skinny pants (leggings if possible!).  They just are so easy, comfortable and really give a great top the focus.
  • Amazing shoes & Accessories.  No explanation needed.

I picked out this outfit from all of the pieces I tried on a Thread a couple of weeks ago and it exemplifies my entertaining style perfectly.  The top is unique, with two layers of chiffon and an animal print poking out from underneath.  The skinny burgundy riding pants are stretchy, but structured, and the amazing Rebecca Minkoff shoes, Lizzie Fortunato necklace, and Pluma Jewelry Ring really make it all much more glamorous.

You know how excited I get about sharing entertaining secrets, and going one step further to share my thought process on what I wear when I entertain.  There’s even more excitement where that comes from – the people at Thread are nice enough to offer a discount to all of you as well!  Just use the code HOUSEOFEARNEST when shopping online for 15% off your purchase!

Nice, huh?  Now we’ll all look quite jolly this holiday.

p.s.  Are you a Columbus local who loves Thread?  Come to their Grandview location THIS WEDNESDAY and shop our entire Grandiflora holiday collection.  Shop over cocktails and hang out with me and the Thread gang! 5:30pm-8:30pm at Thread Grandview.

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Thanksgiving Place Card Mini Notebooks

name card thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is in just two days and if you’re still looking for a really darling personal touch to your table, here it is!

I created mini notebooks for my Thanksgiving guests that serve as both a fun little activity, but also as the name cards for the table! I tied a little golf pencil so that folks could jot down their personal feelings of gratitude or just keep as a party favor.

thanksgiving table name cards

I have a downloadable template that you can print out onto pretty paper (I used kraft), and customize with the names of your guests!

Keep reading for the step by step photos and instructions! Continue Reading…

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Thanksgiving Potluck with Friends

thanksgiving table

This week’s holiday came a bit early for us yesterday as we shared what we lovingly refer to as “Friendsgiving”, a Thanksgiving celebration with our closest friends.  I’m moving a bit slow this morning after hours spent cheers-ing, playing games, and carrying on over loads of food.  I stuck to a ‘gilded nature’ look by mixing lots of gold with natural elements.  I spray painted some leaves and branches in my favorite gold, I mixed sparkly gold mini-pencils with DIY kraft notebooks for the name cards and the favors (which I’ll be sharing here tomorrow!) and layered together wood serving dishes with gold and white ones.

It worked well with each person contributing a side dish or dessert, because I was able to spend time putting decorative touches on things and less time in the kitchen.  We did make the roasted turkey while our friend, Eric, fried one. We had a bar set up with two signature cocktails – both from Snippet and Ink – the  Pear Rum Blush and The Ginger Bourbon Fizz.  They were so good!

Thanksgiving name cards

thanksgiving place card

Keep Reading for more details and photos!  Continue Reading…

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Building an Entertaining Collection with Waxed Wood

expand your serveware collection with wood

It’s no secret that I love a party.  Shoot, entertaining has become part of my DNA.  When I wander through the store on my bi-weekly grocery shopping trips, it’s pretty common that I pick up a cheese just with the thought that it would be perfect for a get-together (even when I have no parties in sight)! I usually scheme up some reason to have people over shortly thereafter.

Regardless of my crazy cheese shopping, there are a few things in my life that make these gatherings great, and one is the presentation (followed by great company and wine, of course).

When it comes to presentation, I must use wood.  If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll see that I use wood in just about every dinner party, cocktail party, or throw-together party that I have.  The main reason is that wood pieces are so casual!  Either raw or waxed, wood platters and servers add a bit of nature, warmth, and character to any other pieces that you have.  It calms down the fancy, it dresses up the everyday.  It’s just so versatile.

waxed wood serveware

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If you’re ready for a side story, here is one for you.  Last year, Target had this amazing wooden tiered server that I was in love with.  Under no circumstance did I need another 3 tiered server, but I put it on my Christmas list nonetheless.  Christmas came and went and no wooden 3 tiered server.  My birthday (which directly follows Christmas) came and went. Still, there was no 3 tiered server.  By this point in time, not only did Target no longer have the piece I wanted, but in the running around of the holidays, I’d lost my other 3 tiered server at someone’s house.  I deducted that I wasn’t meant to own a 3 tiered server (maybe I wasn’t responsible enough) and I surely didn’t deserve the wooden server and I’d have to move on with my life. Well, I thought about that silly server all. year. long. This fall, when they released another variety, I bought it in an instant.

That’s the long version of the story.

Now onto entertaining – the reason I’m so passionate about wood pieces is the depth and texture variety that if offers to a table, buffet, or bar.  It’s like adding instant interest. The little get-together I had this past weekend was so so simple.  It just included sliced cheese and fruit with some nuts and various wines, but it was just enough.

So, I’ve clearly talked way too much about my favorite type of serveware. Tell me, what’s yours?

 

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“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.”

 

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Copper Wedding Shoot for Style Me Pretty

copper wedding shoot 3
I’ve almost been bursting at the seams to share this with you guys. With all of the party style I share here on House of Earnest, this is the first published event that is mine! I’m dumbstruck. Several weeks ago, I instagrammed some sneak peeks of a photoshoot that I was working on with Benjamin Lowry and today, I finally get to share that Style Me Pretty has published our shoot and we are over-the-moon excited.

I had been dying to play with the textures and hues of copper in a wedding setting and had been eager to work with Ben on a wedding shoot as well.  I am blessed that not only did I end up with Ben (who does stunning work, no?), but I also got the opportunity to work with some of the absolute best event professionals in my area.  The flowers were put together by the amazingly sweet, Mary, from Rose Bredl Flowers + Garden.  She donated her time and creativity to our project and hit the nail on the head.  The breathtaking invitation suite was hand painted by Yao Cheng and were everything I’d hoped for – airy, earthy, and feminine.

copper wedding shoot 7

copper wedding shoot 11

copper wedding shoot 12

The dress was Romona Keveza from Big Rock Little Rooster and the amazingly gorgeous model donning the gown is Josie of Thank Yoga.  I was lucky enough that my favorite hair designer, Stephanie was available to do hair and Milla to donate her time for the makeup – both from Jolie Laide Salon.  We had QUITE the group of talent.

I love the soft, coppery colors that were captured mixed with blush and vibrant natural greens.  All against the ivory backdrop of lace, I don’t think it can get any better. More pictures to follow! Continue Reading…

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Fall Party Idea: Chili Supper

chili supper

 

Happy October everyone!  You may not know that years ago (in college) I claimed October as “my month”,  I just love it so so much and my birthday month (January) is a little gloomy in my area.  So, I claim October.

I have a wonderful friend who, each October, hosts a chili supper.  Although it’s out of state and I can’t usually attend, I love the idea and have thoughts of implementing around this part of the country. Wouldn’t that be so comforting and fun?

You can shop all of my ‘Chili Supper’ picks here on Keep!

Have a wonderful first day in the month of Erin, everyone!

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