Decor

Fall Game Day Entertaining

It’s football season which means it’s the perfect time to throw a little fall game day shindig at your place! Everyone is back from summer travels, so it’s always a great month to have people over. I personally love any excuse to throw a party, and wanted to share some of my tips + tricks for putting together an easy fall game day entertaining spread! Game Day SnacksFirst things first, let’s talk about the food! My personal fave part of entertaining is getting to snack on all of the yummy treats! You can’t throw a game day party without something salty and something sweet to nosh on. I picked up all of the essential snacks like; chips, salsa, pretzels, popcorn, M&Ms (peanut butter are the bestttt right?!), cheese cubes, and mixed nuts. I made the popcorn in 2 minutes without any butter or oil using this AMAZING hot air popper. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know popcorn is one of my go-to healthy snacks, so this small air popper is a GAMECHANGER for me!!! The popcorn turns out perfect – it doesn’t burn, AND you can easily season it with whatever your heart desires after it’s done. PLUS it’s only $31 and available for Next Day delivery at Walmart! Trust me, you’re going to want one. Game Day DrinksBesides the obvious game day drinks; water, club soda, and beer, I thought it would be fun to add a spiked lemonade to the roundup. Everyone loves lemonade, and it’s a refreshing beverage to go along with all of the snacks and food that you’ll be consuming throughout the day! I ordered this lemonade and added a few shots of vodka and lemon slices to this big glass pitcher. I love that the pitcher came with 5 glasses and holds plenty of liquid for everyone to help themselves to. The entire set just went on sale for under $13! Add a fun straw to the glass and you’ve got a super easy cocktail for your guests. Serving PlattersI picked up all of these simple, affordable platters and bowls at Walmart. This clear, break resistant chip + dip bowl was one of my favorite purchases because it’s so versatile and goes with any style of decor. It’s a great piece to have when you’re doing outdoor entertaining! This wood tray is so rustic and perfect for any fall sort of spread – and would even look gorgeous year round on a coffee or entry table. These classic white bowls and these clear bowls are ideal for using year round as well. Other Game Time Essentials Besides snacks, drinks, and serving platters, a game day party wouldn’t be complete without a few other quintessential items like a TV, grill, table + chairs, and games (I love this corn hole set!) And if you really want to go all out, then Walmart has a ton of cute football themed decor as well! Shop everything I bought below. Happy game day planning!
read more

How To Make A Cheese Board in 10 Minutes

I hosted T and his family at my place the other night and wanted to share the spread I put together for all of us. I wanted all of the food to be casual and easy – nothing over the top. Everyone loves cheese and crackers. It’s a European staple. So I ran to Whole Foods and picked up a medley of goodies to create the perfect cheeseboard. I’ve been whipping up cheese boards for friends and family for years, and thought I’d share my tips on how to make a cheese board in 10 minutes! Wood Cheese BoardsFirst and foremost, get a beautiful wood cutting board to place all of the yummy ingredients on. This one is from Hudson Grace, which is one of my favorite home decor stores in LA (it’s at the Brentwood Country Mart.) This one from Studio McGee’s shop is super similar. They have TONS of other boards that would be stunning in any kitchen. If you’re looking for a huge, oversized board for a large party, I have this one from World Market and LOVE it. It’s perfect for creating a massive spread. Bistro table + chairsMy table is a great find from Wayfair’s outdoor section. Sadly it’s sold out, but I found this gorgeous one for half the price! Not only is this a cute outdoor table, but it’s a darling entry table, bedroom side table, or living room console. My chairs are from One Kings Lane and can be used indoor or outdoor. I also love these ones from Serena + Lily, and these ones from Amazon are super affordable. Napkins, Plates, CutleryLay out napkins, plates, and cutlery. My napkins are oldies from Pottery Barn (love this vintage stripe version). My silverware is a total STEAL and under $30 for the set! The plates are Hudson Grace’s organic style. The cheese knives are Williams Sonoma and have beautiful thick marble handles that have held up for years. If you’re looking for a more modern set, these ones from Nordstrom Home are chic. How To Make A Cheese BoardWhen it comes to building a cheese board, I like to always get; at least 3 different types of cheeses, green grapes, a fig jam (or figs), 2-3 different types of crackers, marcona almonds, and honey to drizzle on top! If it’s a meat loving group, I’ll pick up a prosciutto or salami to place underneath the cheese. It’s nice to have a mixture of different colors and textures to place around the board and for people to choose from. Types of CheeseLet’s talk about the most important part of the board – the cheese! Whole Foods has a nice cheese selection. It’s so convenient, so I head there and typically pick out 1 hard cheese, 1 softer cheese, and 1 brie. For the softer cheese, I like to get one with truffle in it. A truffle fontina is to die for!!!! For the hard cheese I like to get a parmesan and/or sharp cheddar. Other cheeses that are yummy are Manchego and Mt Tam by Cowgirl Creamery. Mt Tam is my favorite cheese of all time (legit drooling thinking about it right now LOL) and you can get it at FarmShop in LA! Arranging TechniqueIn terms of arranging everything, first place the 3 cheeses equal distance a part on your board. Then place 2 handfuls of grapes on opposite sides, and 2 handfuls of marcona almonds sprinkled on the other sides. Tuck a fanned out line of salami or prosciutto in one corner, and then place a jar of fig jam or handful of figs in the other corner. Lastly, dip a honey spoon in fresh honey, and drizzle over the brie. Place crackers to the side, or even sliced baguette for guests to help themselves! Open a bottle of wine – I love Whispering Angel rose – and enjoy!
read more

How To Decorate A Small Space

My sister recently moved into a new apartment in Williamsburg and I’ve been helping her decorate it! I wanted to share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from living in small NYC apartments over the years, and which ones I incorporated into her place. There are a ton of simple ways to make a small space look and feel bigger – you just have to do a little rearranging! How To Decorate A Small Space Use a large round jute rug under a sofa or bed. A round rug completely opens up a small room and is a nice juxtaposition to a big, rectangular piece of furniture. Jute is a natural, airy, clean material that will go with any style of decor – and it’s one of the most inexpensive types of rugs. I’ve gotten mine on Wayfair, Overstock, and Pottery Barn. Use the Ikea Billy Bookcase as storage and decor. This simple white bookcase has been in every single one of my apartments! It’s been a wardrobe (the one with doors) in my college dorm and West Village apartment, a bookcase in my first NYC apartment, and it now acts as shoe + bag storage in my office. You have the option to get it with or without glass doors (it’s super chic with glass doors – and you can switch out the knobs + put wallpaper or fabric behind the glass to hide what’s inside!), and it also comes in various widths. It’s a great divider if you live in a studio and want to put 3 right next to each other. Use a narrow bench, ottoman, or acrylic piece as a coffee table. Most coffee tables are pretty big and made for large living rooms. Be sure to properly measure your space so you’re not stuck with a HUGE one! My favorite coffee tables for small spaces are; a narrow bench that you can decorate with coffee table books and trinkets to warm it up, a small fabric ottoman or two matching stools (sometimes a printed fabric is fun depending on your style!), or an acrylic/lucite piece like this one that I had in my old Upper East Side studio. If the room won’t fit a traditional coffee table, get some fun moroccan poufs, or a stack of small vintage suitcases or trunks for the space. Create a gallery wall behind your sofa, dresser, dining room table, or in a narrow entry. A gallery wall instantly lifts your eye up and makes a space feel more cozy and eclectic. You would be AMAZED at how it can transform a long, dark entryway. Don’t be afraid to hang art on a brick wall – there are special nails that make it possible. I always hire a handyman through Taskrabbit to do all of my hanging since they come equipped with the right tools. Be sure to read my; How To Find Art For Your Home blog post to see some of my favorite resources. Wallpaper a small bathroom. A beautiful, intricate patterned wallpaper can transform a tiny bathroom! Swap out a plain light fixture for a mini chandelier or pendant, and put in a pretty mirror – and you’ve got yourself a darling powder room. Incorporate vintage pieces into your space. Vintage pieces are much smaller than the furniture pieces they sell in stores today. A vintage item can add a ton of pizzaz to a space and make everything feel more homey. I never like to order sets of furniture or everything in the same type of wood/color because it ends up making a space feel crowded and sterile. Mix and match modern pieces with vintage pieces. Get a cute gold bar cart to put booze, glasses and books on. Find a fun ceramic umbrella holder for your entry. Hang baskets or hats on the wall. Mix gold and wood frames of all shapes and sizes on a gallery wall. Use a vintage leather trunk as a side or coffee table. Frame your windows with long white curtains. Quality curtains immediately make a ceiling look higher and elevate a space. They pull together any room, and give it a more chic/polished look. I’m a sucker for a thick, Belgian linen French pleat style – and in my opinion, no one does it better than Restoration Hardware. BUT their curtains are pricey, so I recommend checking out Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma Home, and West Elm for other options! Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! Mirrors act as windows in a space. If you feel like your space is cramped and doesn’t have enough light or windows then add a mirror! I love the look of an oversized mirror leaning against the wall opposite of a bed to really open up a room. I also love a mirror behind a sofa, or dining room table. And last but not least, a mirror in an entry is always a good idea – not only for makeup touch ups before you leave, but just to add that extra oomph that most entries need! Use baskets as storage. I LOVE baskets. I use a basket in my living room to store extra pillows and blankets in, I use baskets in my bedroom for laundry/dry cleaning, I use baskets in my entry for groceries/errands, and I use baskets in my closet to store towels, scarves, and toiletry bags. There are a zillion places to buy baskets, but some of my favorite spots are Ralph Lauren, One Kings Lane, Serena and Lily, and Etsy. Use a dresser as a TV console. A dresser maximizes your storage space, AND in my opinion looks way better than an open TV console which shows the cable box and cords. Anthropologie has gorgeous dressers like this bone inlay one, or this carved wood one. I also always like to check World Market, vintage stores, One Kings Lane and Studio McGee’s shop for consoles! Keep clutter to a minimum. This goes without saying, but whether you live in a small or big space, my philosophy when it comes to “stuff” is always less is more! Be diligent about cleaning out your closet and cabinets. Don’t hold onto stuff that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t used in a year. Purge, purge, purge! I have an entire blog post talking about How To Clean Out Your Closet here. So be sure to check that out! I hope this post was helpful and you learned a few things :) I’d love to see photos of your space and ways that you’ve incorporated my tips + tricks in so feel free to send them way!!! As always, feel free to leave any questions you may have below! And be sure to check out all of my other Decor posts here like; How To Find Art For Your Home, Refresh Your Home For Spring, and My Favorite Coffee Table Books.
read more

How To Plan A Bachelorette Party

I’ve planned two bachelorette parties now; one for my childhood best friend and one for my sister, and wanted to share everything I’ve learned from organizing both. There are a TON of logistics that go into a bachelorette party – it can be quite overwhelming to be honest!!! Hopefully this guide full of tips will be helpful and take some of the stress away! How To Plan A Bachelorette PartyTimelineUsually bachelorette parties occur around 2-3 months before the wedding. You should connect with the bride and get the emails for everyone she wants to invite. Send out a mass email to the list of girls with 3 weekends that work for the bride and then choose 1 weekend that works best for the majority. If you don’t want to go the mass email route – you can create a free poll at Doodle.com that tallies the responses. Once you’ve decided on a date, send out an invite with: date, time, location, a general itinerary, and an approximate cost breakdown. 2 weeks before the party, send a follow up email with more details such as: travel specifics, a packing list (if there are certain outfits needed i.e. you want all the girls to wear black one night), gift ideas (if you’re asking everyone to wrap a piece of lingerie for a guessing game), food allergies, payment reminders etc. Packing ListNext to each activity on the itinerary it’s always nice to give a little outfit suggestion. For example, Wine Tasting – sundress and sandals. Night out – wear all black. You can send a friendly reminder for people to bring certain things like; sunscreen, Advil, mini travel size shampoos (if you’re staying at an airbnb), cash, and heels. GiftsA popular game at bachelorette parties is everyone brings a wrapped piece of lingerie and the bride has to guess who brought it. Some people bring silk pjs, robes, eye masks – it doesn’t just have to be bras/underwear. Other than that, guests aren’t really required to bring a gift. In terms of being the Maid of Honor/Host of the party, it’s always nice to give all of the guests a goodie bag upon arrival. You can fill it with all of the essentials; bandaids, Advil, coconut water, flip flops, a personalized T-shirt, candy, sunglasses etc… For my sister’s bachelorette party I wanted to go all out so I found these amazing faux leather bags for under $10 (don’t they look so much more expensive?!) that are soooo versatile and go with everything. I stuffed them with fun items like; Skyn Iceland face masks, TCHO chocolate bars, Sweet Reason CBD water, BEV canned rose, stripe straws, heart sunglasses, personalized wine glasses, Supergoop sunscreen, Kopari lipgloss, Goop bubblebath + glow kits, and Essie nail polish. My sister hand wrote notes to to go inside each bag which was such a nice touch. GamesI mentioned the lingerie game above, another game we love to play is a Q & A for the fiancé. You can look up questions online, but I’ll share a few of my favorites that we’ve asked each groom-to-be. “What was your first date?” “What’s your biggest pet peeve of your significant other?” “What’s your favorite thing about them?” “When did you know they were the one?” “What’s their favorite food?” “What is one thing you did to impress them when you were first dating?” “What’s their biggest quirk?” “What’s your favorite body part of theirs?” “Where’s the craziest you’ve ever had sex?” “What’s something no one knows about them except for you?” You can either email these questions or have them record a video of themselves answering for all of the girls to watch! At the bachelorette party, ask the bride-to-be these questions and have her guess the answers, then read them back to her. Another game that’s fun is with Dare Cards. The bride has to act out whatever the card says, so things like “Take a picture the bartender.” “Ask a random guy for a piggy back ride.” etc. ActivitiesThis will vary based on city and time of year, but I’ll share what we did in The Hamptons. We were a group of 20 girls total, so we decided to enjoy our days and late nights out and then have all of our dinners at the house we rented. I ordered HelloFresh for the 3 nights we were there – and it was PERFECT because I didn’t have to grocery shop and the meal kit was delivered right to the front door. This was WAY more cost effective than eating out, and just made more sense since it’s so hard to seat 20 people at a restaurant on a weekend. FYI you can use this link to receive $80 off your first month using HelloFresh! Here’s a brief rundown of our itinerary for the weekend: Friday – check into Airbnb, wine tasting at Wolffer Vineyards, head home to refresh and relax, enjoy appetizers and HelloFresh dinner at house, Uber to Talkhouse (Friday night is the best night to go), Saturday – breakfast at house, Gurney’s Montauk beach club, head home to swim/hang out/refresh, enjoy appetizers and dinner at house, Uber to Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s, Sunday – breakfast at house, check out, people walk around town at their leisure before heading home. SuppliesYou have to get the bride a sash! I ordered my sister this one. She can wear it on one or both of the nights out. In terms of decor – it’s totally up to you and will be different for everyone. I personally spent my time investing in the food, booze, goodie bags, and itinerary rather than a ton of decor. Some people like to do funny decor like blow up the groom-to-be’s face on cardboard cut outs, put the groom-to-be’s face on temporary tattoos, personalized streamers from Etsy with the wedding hashtag, flowers, balloons, and other typical bachelorette paraphernalia. Custom T-shirts or accessories are also popular. For my sister, we ordered a tie dye kit and plain white bandanas off Amazon so everyone could make their own piece to take home. It was a nice activity for everyone to do by the pool, and super cost effective compared to custom T-shirts! For food/drinks you definitely want to have the house fully stocked with chips, salsa, guacamole, popcorn, yogurt, granola, bagels, frozen pizzas, straws, paper plates, napkins, booze and mixers. CostIt’s no secret that bachelorette parties are expensive. They’re expensive for the person hosting/planning it and the guests attending. Sometimes the bride and maid of honor will cover a lot of the costs such as accommodations/housing, meals, entrance fees, goodie bags, food/booze and more. Sometimes the bride won’t pay for anything and her guests will pick up everything down to the Ubers. I personally think it’s a really nice touch when the bride and/or maid of honor cover something like the accommodations (since flights can often be so expensive for guests), or at least the goodie bags. I hope this bachelorette party guide provided a few helpful tips for your weekend! It’s such a special time for a bride-to-be and all of her loved ones to come together and celebrate her! I’ll be sure to update this post with even more ideas and tips after each bachelorette party I attend in the future! If you like this post on how to plan a bachelorette party, also, check out: How To Create A Healthy Girls Spa Getaway, and An Outdoor Dinner Party At Home.
read more