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House of Earnest | Home | Made | Style – A home decor, DIY, and entertaining blog
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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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NYE Party Hat with Christmas Ribbon

cute new years eve party hats

I’m a hat kind of girl.  I have always loved collecting fancy antique hats with nets, feathers, and all of the trimmings.  As the years go by, I seem to have less and less places to which I can wear some of my more extravagant pieces, but New Year’s Eve is certainly an occasion where (even if you’re not a hat person) it’s totally acceptable to rock something over-the-top (literally).

pretty new years party hat

new years eve cute party hat diy

This easy, DIY fascinator is a great use of leftover ribbon from the Christmas holiday, so the only things you may have to purchase are the clips, felt, and numeral stickers – should you want to use them! Don’t put away the Christmas ribbon just yet! The easy step by step tutorial might just inspire you to get creating!  Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 12.27

Friday Faves 12.27

ONE a quirky black and white print is the perfect addition to any gallery wall.  ‘Bear of a few words’ print from Bodie and Fou is just $24.30. TWO a wall art sculpture with silver antlers is on my wish list, and at just $14 from Target, it might be making it’s way to my home soon. THREE a great mix of warmth and rustic, this pouf top stool in cream faux mongolian fur from Furbish studio is $250. FOUR wool pillow from Leif is a fun, graphic punch of geo, $68. If you struggle adding pattern to your home, adding it all in B&W is a great start! FIVE a funky vase in all cream is a modern classic (and you won’t be able to see crazy stems if you’re new to arranging). $100 from Kate Spade. SIX Matt got me the book ‘Artisan Cheese Making at Home‘ for Christmas and I can’t wait to dig in and learn about how to create my own curds.

What a holiday week it’s been!  We’ve had parties, gone to parties, played lots of games, and eaten tons of great food.  It’s so evident, especially around the holidays, how blessed we are.  I am so happy to spend the rest of the weekend laying low and hanging around with Matt.  We’ve got a full week next week then head off to Colorado for a week of skiing.  I’m pretty excited to get into the fresh mountain air with loads of snow!

We still have a few fun ideas for your New Years party coming up next week, so come back by and get some last minute inspiration!

 

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Quick Patterned Acrylic Trays

acrylic pattern trays

This is such an easy idea to make your New Years Eve bar really cute and unique.  You can use any paper or pattern than falls in line with your party theme and really add a gorgeous touch to your event.

With a frame you can buy at any store from Wal-mart to Micheals, you can easily purchase all of the things to make this simple project.

gold patterned acrylic trays pattern lined acrylic tray

Acrylic box frames take center stage in this two step project, keep reading for the full tutorial, you’ll definitely want to add this small, but totally custom, touch to your NYE event.

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Merry Christmas

merry christmas 2

 

I hope you all are having an absolutely beautiful day! Merry Christmas!

*gorgeous Rectory Red is a new color from Farrow + Ball and isn’t it stunning in this entry?

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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!

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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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Friday Faves 12.20

Friday Faves 12.20

ONE I have recently (like, yesterday) become obsessed with this giant dot bedding from Nordstrom. Isn’t it just adorable? And at $98 is much less than the dot blanket I posted last week!  I can’t find the shams on the site, but as soon as I do, you’ll be the first to know.  TWO Porcelain pinecone votives from Crate and Barrel are my favorite holiday purchase this year at$2.95 each.  They create such a beautiful warm glow and I think I’ll keep them up all winter long, just changing out the THREE Cedar & Balsam candles from Illume.  They’re like Christmas in a can.  I can’t get enough, $9. FOUR galvanized planters from Terrain are on sale and will be great for late winter/early spring on the porch. FIVE it’s winter, and my skin is dry and flaky (do I sound like a lotion commercial?) well, it’s true.  I saw this scrub and thought it might be the perfect thing to get my skin the the holiday spirit, $44. SIX cute and to the point thank you cards for after the holidays from J. Crew, $26.

Christmas has snuck right up on us!  Although most of the stuff here is probably still up for consideration with two-day shipping, if you want to venture out this weekend and make some gorgeous gifts, I’ve posted three DIY gift ideas that (although kind of girly) are great for people you’re still not quite done shopping for.  Check them out here.

This weekend, I plan on relaxing as much as possible.  I’ve had a very busy week preparing for my Grandiflora trunk show which was Wednesday and going out to dinners with friends.  I hope to watch some Christmas movies and snuggle up by a fire for the large majority of Saturday and Sunday night! How about you?

 

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DIY Presents: Monogrammed Guest Towels

diy monogrammed guest towels

It’s my last DIY gift before Christmas and this one is certainly the best for the time-sensitive.  It’s hard to even call it a ‘craft’ because it involves little to no skill whatsoever, but that is a really good thing for those of you who may be reluctant to take things into your own hands when it comes to Christmas gifts – like a starter project? Ok, let’s do this.

These guest towels could be used as bar towels, or in the bathroom, or as napkins.  They’re so versatile, but I love using them here as a really luxe addition to my holiday bar (with all of that prosecco, you can tell I’m serving bubbly cocktails for Christmas, but more on that next week).

homemade gifts - diy monogrammed napkin towels

bar towel guest towel monogram

It’s as easy as 1, 2 (no 3!) so keep on reading for the step by step! Continue Reading…

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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.

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