December 29, 2010

Party like it is 1999....

What are your plans for New Years Eve?  Are you a huge crowd, public place person, or a small party, get-together at a friends house person?  I always want to think I would enjoy getting dressed up and hitting the town, but after spending $ on a babysitter, hotel, dinner, and cocktails {plus cover to whatever hot club we just had to be at} it is so not worth it!!  This year, like last, I will be staying in; without husband {oh the riggers of a public service schedule}, but with friends, kids, and a yummy dinner at my house!  This has to be the only time I say no to doing the entertaining thing... my typical party of multiple appetizers, and/or a huge dinner, dessert, and wine, wine, wine.  This year I decided to order take out from a fancy french restaurant.  But if you are doing the entertaining thing here are some SAVVY ideas for food, drinks and decor.

I always make way too much food!  But I was always raised with the school of thought: It is better to have too much than not have enough.  {Thanks Mom!}  I am that afraid I will run out of food I buy Pizza Rolls and taquitos just in case!  For a party like new years eve I would do a buffet of finger foods.  I always like to have a variety of eats... and an even ratio of dippers to small bites and some filling protein options {to offset all of the champagne.}  I also only try to make dishes that can be made ahead, and dishes that I don't have to constantly replace/refill.

What would a new years party be with out the bubbly??  I would set up plenty bottles of champagne on ice with berries, pomegranate seeds.  I would also have fun mixers like pomegranate Liquor, Chambord, and OJ.

 I have two thoughts about decor for a new years eve party.... leave Christmas up or take it down?  I vote leave it up!!  You already decorated; it is all very sparkly; and it is free!!  I would add a table of 2011 hats, crowns, and noise makers.  They are fun for all ages, and make memorable videos and pics... at least at my past parties!!

 Whatever you do have fun and be safe!!  Happy New Year to everyone... may it be the best year yet!!

December 27, 2010

Savvy Tip... I wish I would follow

After Christmas Sales.  The most SAVVY time of year to shop for almost anything.  This is where I give you the SAVVY Tip to stock up on Christmas wrapping paper, holiday decor, and whatever you didn't get from your wish list {as if you NEEDED the tip to know this information!}  But really it is a great time to shop... if only I could remember to save some extra $ for after the holidays!  One of these years I will keep my holiday gift giving and entertaining on budget and take my own SAVVY Tip!  Maybe Next Year....

Here are some of my favorite things I would be buying now....

 Wusthof Classic Black 8" Hollow Edge Slicer on Sale for $79.95 {orig $109.95!} @ Crate N Barrel I love my whole set of Wushof knives and this would make a great addition!

 An oil mister is a great alternative an aerosol cooking spray.  This allows the you to control the amount, and flavor to the oil {instead of spending the $ to buy flavored olive oils} and just looks pretty next to a cook top.  I already have one of these and use it daily, but I would purchase a whole basket full to have on hand for hostess gifts for the next year!  On sale for $8.95 {orig $17.95} @ Crate N Barrel, it is the perfect {thoughtful, unique, but cheap} hostess gift that everyone can use!!

If I had my way I would keep up the Christmas lights and decorations for the rest of winter, but I know my husband would not love the electric bill!!  So I am still going to keep the none lighted decor out... it is still winter and we decorate for summer, spring, and fall right?  I would love to hang these glitter tip pine cones some branches in a big vase.  On sale for $3.25-$6.25 {orig $6.95-$12.95!} @ Crate N Barrel.

 This wall sconce acts as an amazing piece of art any time of the year!
On sale for $74.99 {orig $99.99} @ West Elm.

Oh... so many things!!  Really this is just a few!

December 21, 2010

SAVVY Timesavers

With so much to do during the holiday season {finding the perfect/must have gift, making appetizer after appetizer for holiday parties, and address all of the Christmas cards you swore would get out BEFORE Christmas this year} wouldn't it be nice to have some help with even the smallest things?  I have sourced out some great time saving ideas and websites to help you out!

 The creative people Apartment Therapy's children site Ohdeedoh has done the work for us and found free printable gift tags.  I always think I have enough, but never do!!  Click here to see the post and follow the links!

 Forget to pick up the pumpkin pie spice? Check for ways to replace the missing ingredient with something you already have on hand.

 Need a last minute gift but can't figure out what to get and if you can get it on time? has a great list of ideas from retailers Banana Republic to L.L.Bean.

December 10, 2010

Alternative Holiday Trees

It seems every year this time comes around and I am searching for a place to put the Christmas tree.  I would like it somewhere we can enjoy it {i.e. making sure my 15 month old doesn't pull it down on himself}; a place where my husband doesn't has to move furniture into the garage; and a place that will accommodate a tree with out it feeling like it was just stuck in the corner.  But this year I knew exactly where I was going to put it!  It would meet 2 of 3 of my requests, and *bonus* we were able to put the Polar Express train around it and still have a place for gifts.  Where did I put it you ask?  On the TOP of my baby grand piano.

When I mentioned this to my husband he was very quiet {which is how he gets when I have a new idea for the house and he is preparing himself to argue with me} then he said "that is perfect!"  Secretly I think he wanted a smaller tree; we still were able to buy a normal size tree {thanks to 2 story ceilings}.  I don't get to enjoy it while watching t.v. or making dinners, but I get to see it every time I climb the stairs, and with two boys that is often!

Not everyone has a baby grand to put a full size Christmas tree on.  But if you have a small place, or little kids it might just be the SAVVY choice for you!  Here are some alternatives to the big floor tree.

 This one could be a DIY using a small fake tree and a urn.

 I love this white tree!  Modern but still full of holiday twinkle!

 I love the backdrop of white plates and using the blue ribbon!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

~ Happy Holidays ~

{Images via Martha Stewart, Google Image search}

December 8, 2010

Design Style... what design style?

If I was asked what my design style would be I would say "eclectic, modern."  But what does that really mean?  I am only "eclectic" because I was very fortunate to receive great hand me downs from my parents; who moved to Hawaii just as my husband and I were moving into our first house.  And though at the time I had bounced from Shabby Chic to everything black with chartreuse as an accent color... I knew they were not pieces I really loved, but loved where they came from, what they meant, and it was the most SAVVY financial choice.  Over the years I made the decision to keep them {a beautiful armroir with bookend wood panel doors... that I NOW love} or store them {a Duncan Phyfe table that has 3 leafs and can seat 12}, but how was I going to be SAVVY and mix those pieces with the "modern" style we have developed?

 Here is a house that received fabulous hand me downs and found a way to incorporate them into their "eclectic, modern" home:

 I love the combination of antique Chippendale china hutch, steel/wood coffee table, and armless Bergere chair.

 I love this room so much!  Everything... love EVERYTHING!!

 You can't see the windows from this picture, but the architecture of this house is Mid Century Modern {glass walls and steel framing}.

Your hand me downs may not be as great as these ones, but don't lift a "gift horse" in the mouth!  Be SAVVY and think outside of the box by painting it, or altering it to fit into your design "style."