Friday, February 13, 2015

Bridesmaids!

One of my favorite "wedding tasks" I've checked off the list is asking my bridesmaids to be a part of our wedding. I am so lucky to have the COOLEST and BEST friends, and I'm really excited that such a wonderful group of ladies will be with me on the big day. I wanted to do something special that my bridesmaids would remember, but do feel the need to mention that I sort of got hung up on making the gift really creative and custom. I actually am pretty sure I said, word for word, that I was "paralyzed by Pinterest." (Hey, with so many cute ideas like this and this, can you blame me?) Anyways, my disclosure is out there - my need to make it "pin-worthy" delayed the process by months a bit and I realize that I absolutely could have called them each individually on the phone and just straight up asked. 

But, I stuck with my guns and did something awesome: 


One thing I can always count on my friends for is to enjoy a delicious, icy cold can of Sofia. If you haven't seen it before, it's canned Sofia champagne from the Frances Coppola winery... AND EACH CAN COMES WITH A STRAW. It's the actual best. If anyone comes to visit, you can bet that the fridge is stocked. 

With a little help from Tim (who, as far as I'm concerned, is a design and Photoshop expert), custom Sofia labels were created to match the original box and we pasted them (using spray adhesive) directly on top of the label. I have to say, they looked SO real! When Lindy opened hers, she said "oh, yum!" and didn't even notice that it said her name. I would call that my proudest moment, probably. 


I didn't do a very great job of photographing them all together before they went in the mail, but wanted to share here in case there are any other brides who are overzealous Sofia fans like me. My only other suggestion is stocking your own fridge (or purse) so that you can "cheers" once they receive them!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Girls' Night In

February is always a pretty anti-social month for me. The craziness of catching up in January always seems to weigh me down, and so February hits and I basically refuse to leave the house. But, it's the height of awards season (Oscars!), The Bachelor is just getting juicy, and Friends is on Netflix. I think February is the perfect occasion for a "girls' night in," filled with celebrity gossip, trashy TV, and plenty of snacks.

Whenever I plan a party, no matter how small, I always want to give our apartment a little refresh. The quickest way to do that is update the details. Target, obviously, is my go-to. The Threshold line seems like it was created with my apartment in mind, and - hello - Nate Berkus can do no wrong. For my last little soiree, I snagged a few new pillows from both lines and our sofa was completely transformed. (See here for reference.) Since our space is small, I knew I wanted to get some new seating. The Nate Berkus geo-print pouf is great (and surprisingly comfortable), and can be tucked under my desk as a foot rest when we're not using it. I also love the Threshold Iron & Glass Hurricane Candle Holder (with an unscented candle) for a little mood lighting.


Target also had a lot of great entertaining essentials that perfectly fit my aesthetic - and, more importantly, the decor I already own! Luxe serving trays (which are perfect for food OR drinks), mix & match plates (like these geometric ones from Nate's line), and versatile tumblers for cocktails did just the trick. My favorite addition, however, was the glass and acacia "chip and dip." At first, it seemed frivolous. But we watch a lot of movies and sports, and it has already been used a ton. It cut down on dishes and looks gorgeous. Fresh guacamole is all my heart needs to be happy. 




Finally, when it comes to entertaining, I admit to aiming for the easy route. I take full responsibility (and pride!!) in this. I don't really have much luck in the kitchen, and I also don't have a ton of time. I think it's 100% acceptable to offer pre-made food as long as you dress it up a bit and include a few fun drink options. I fixed a plate of taquitos (because, who can resist taquitos??) but melted cheese over the top and added fresh salsa. My brother's handmade glass dishes were the perfect addition for individual salsa servings. (And did I mention the fresh guac?!) For cocktails, I like to keep it fairly simple - which is easy to do if you choose a good liquor. Brugal's Dry Rum is so tasty, I'd drink it alone. (But I won't.) Club soda and lime is all it needs to be a fresh drink you can sip on all night. (Get the exact recipe here.) Since not everyone goes for rum, I had a few beers on hand but avoided the "college frat boy" route and put them on a matching blue tray. (Side note -- I am OB-SESSED with these trays and they will be making an appearance at our wedding. So. Pretty.)





I like to think this is proof you can have a pretty party without a lot of effort. AND - with a few thoughtful updates - it will seem like your place got a complete makeover. (Will I ever stop preaching the power of the pillow? NOPE. Never.) When it comes to entertaining (or at the very least, binge-watching The Bachelor), I'm set to host through spring AND it feels like we have a brand new living room. 

What are your favorite entertaining tricks for a quick & affordable party that still looks great?

SHOP MY TOP PICKS FROM TARGET:

Monday, February 2, 2015

#DoItWithPurpose

If you follow me on Instagram, you likely have noticed that my feed is like... 25% cat pictures. Not just any cats, though. #RoxanneDolores & #LeonardFrancis. Sure, I used to be embarrassed about the "cat lady" stigma, but these days - I couldn't care less. I love having pets and am a firm believer and supporter in the joy they bring any household. It can be annoying to have to find care for them when we travel, and Roxanne has had some health issues (which I'll be writing about later) that aren't ideal... but all in all, I'm obsessed.

The kind folks at Purina realized that Roxanne Dolores was a total star, and sent her a present!! She could hardly wait to get her paws on it:


They recently launched a new cat litter called Purpose, and the slogan is to "put a bright face on a dirty chore." The packaging is so cute - maybe because I'm biased and the cat on the cover is Rox's doppelgänger. The branding is ON POINT (how funny is this "How To" section??) and I am glad that companies are finally recognizing that really cool cat ladies (and cat men) exist. It's available exclusively at Target - which is my second home.

As for the litter itself, it smells great (not weirdly medicinal) and works well with our hilarious litter box, the Litter Robot. Like, you own a cat... they need to have a litter box... shouldn't it be awesome?


I mean sure, I never thought I'd see the day where I blogged about litter. But I love my cat, and I love this brand, and I figured at least 2 of you out there found this blog because you liked a photo of one or both of my cats. So obviously, it's only natural to share the love. Another huge thank you to Purpose for the gift - which include a few treats for me too! Click here to find it at a Target near you.

Disclosure: Purpose Cat Litter sent me (and Roxy) a thoughtful gift and the chance to try out Purpose, but the opinions here are 100% my own.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A little love...

I mentioned it a few times last year (see here & here), but I am one of those OBNOXIOUS girls that just loves Valentine's Day. Even when I was single (and relatively bitter), I really enjoyed the excuse to show my friends and family a little extra love. And keep in mind, this is coming from a girl who went to elementary school BEFORE it was required to give every classmate a Valentine. (It's safe to say that people didn't entirely understand my personality and my handcrafted Valentine's Day Mailbox was occasionally a little drafty.) I was looking at the West Elm gift section and stumbled upon the VALENTINE'S DAY JACKPOT.  From a cute heart bud vase to chic paperweights, I want every last item.

Whether you plan on celebrating GALentine's Day (with pizza & peonies & Bridesmaids on repeat), or you just feel like treating your own darn self, I think the next 2 weeks are the perfect opportunity to do a little shopping with love in mind. Here are my top picks -- which item do you HEART most?


Shop my Valentine's Day Favorites at West Elm: 1. Bud Vase // 2. Heart Clutch // 3. Key Ring // 4. Tea Towel // 5. Marble Box // 6. Paperweight // 7. Love Lock // 8. Dinnerware