Easter Tablescape Inspiration

Happy Thursday y’all….if your week has been like mine, you are counting down the seconds until the weekend is here! We quickly went from no Easter plans to hosting dinner for 6 (maybe 8) overnight, so my mind is going into planning mode!

So, what’s on our menu?

Appetizers & Nibbles:

Deviled eggs & Mediterranean platter

Jelly beans & Jordan almonds

Main Menu:

Baked ham

Chilled asparagus,  roasted brussel sprouts & scalloped red potatoes

Spinach, fruit, walnut & goat cheese salad

Desserts:

Homemade brownies, coconut macaroons & strawberry shortcake

Yummy, right? We’re in charge of the ham, salad, apps & desserts. Our guests will be bringing sides and of course, lots of wine!

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{marble + wood cutting board / textured bowls / long wood bowl / wood + ceramic dip bowls}

One of my favorite parts about hosting is of course the table setting…however, living in a small 900sq ft apartment with no dining table proves to be a challenge. Luckily we have a 6′ folding table that fits directly over our coffee table so we’ll just move the sofa out back & place some chairs around it. Hey, you gotta work with what you have!

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Easter Easter Table Decor with White Hydrangeas and Tulips Cente

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How beautiful are those tablescapes? Whether you have the space or not, here are a few pieces to help you build a classic, pretty table for your guests:

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{table runner / gold flatware / wine glasses / white dinner plate/

gold salad plate / cake stand}

What’s on your Easter menu?!

Home Decor Must Have for pet owners

Happy Monday y’all! How was everyone’s weekend?

The Northeast has been pounded with some snow the past few days (not the fun kind, the annoying kind) and I’m going stir crazy! One of the worst parts about the snowstorm is having to take the pup in & out. She’s a total diva and hates the cold but does like playing in (and eating) the snow.

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As a pet owner, I’m constantly aware of the impact she has on our home. Dogs come with smells, toys, blankets, etc. For me, it’s important to know that someone could walk into our home and not even know we have a dog. Here’s how I do it:

Stylish Storage

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Similar to kids toys, dog toys aren’t cute or aesthetically appealing. I keep all of Mela’s toys in a small woven basket, tucked away into the corner (easy to hide when company comes over). I also keep a basket in the hall closet with all of her necessities (extra bags, leashes, bandanas, etc). Cute baskets are so easy & inexpensive! A few I like are this, this and this.

Tip: I like to keep a blanket on each sofa that she sits on, to avoid getting a mess of dog hair all over. She like them & knows those are her spots.

Candles

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As pet owners, we often become unaware that our beloved 4 legged friend has a certain scent to others. Let’s all get a quick wake up call, do a favor to our guests and stock up on some good smelling candles. A few favorites include this, these and this.

Clean Often

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This isn’t fun, but it’s needed. Part of the territory with pets is that you’ve got to clean often. I sweep and/or vacuum pretty much every day. For those of us with shedding dogs, it’s a necessary evil! Spend 10 minutes a day and I promise you’ll notice a difference. This vacuum is one I recommend!

What are you favorite tips & tricks to keep your dog friendly home looking sharp?!

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Get Your Home “Guest Ready”

We’ve all been there…you get a call in the middle of the day from your old neighbor/relative/long lost friend. They’re in the area and want to stop by in  15 minutes. You’re super excited to see them yet horrified that your place feels like a tornado came through…now what?!
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Step 1. Light Candles
Right away, light candles. They’ll get your home feeling warm & cozy and smelling amazing while you complete steps 2-5.

Hint: I always keep scented candles in the living room, bedrooms, bathrooms & kitchen!

Step 2. Tidy Up Main Spaces
The last thing you want is a guest walking into your home & seeing yesterday’s undies on the floor. #awkward…Picking up all of your random sh*t off of the living room floor, sofas/chairs/beds, and main countertops will create a visually clean space. Even if you only have 5 minutes, grab a basket to toss all of the stuff in, throw it in your closet & deal with it later. Clutter = messy = gross.

Hint: When in doubt, stack it! Have a stash of old mags or some new books? Stack them neatly & put a small bowl with a candle or cute decorative piece on top…wa la!

Step 3. Clean Surfaces
This one is important. Nothing gives away a dirty space more than leftovers crusted onto the counter. Quickly wipe down the coffee/end tables, kitchen counter & guest bathroom vanity. Then grab some windex & hit the main mirrors. Instant sparkle!

Hint: Wipe out the sink & keep it dry (a trick the maid always does!)

Step 4. Take Out The Trash
A no brainer, yet often overlooked. This legit takes under 1 minute: empty the bathroom trash into the kitchen trash. Wrap it up & toss it outside. Done!

Hint: Keep a scented dryer sheet between the trash bag & the can to keep it smelling fresh.

Step 5. Put Your Hostess Hat On
If all else fails or you’re crammed for time, light the candles & skip to step 5.
Grab a tray, some cute cocktail napkins (like these) and lay out some snacks. Easy ones to keep on hand are assorted nuts, pre-cut cheese & crackers, olives, grapes & chocolates.

Hint: Set out a fresh pitcher of water…or even better, a bottle of rose!

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So there you have it, my easy way to prepare your home for guests. Focus for 10 minutes and they’ll never know you weren’t ready for them. Oh, and don’t forget to put on some tunes & smile…after all, they came over to see you, not your home!

What’s your best quick clean up tip?!

Gift Guide: For Her

First off, thank y’all SOOOO much for the kind words & well wishes! The amount of calls, texts, chats, comments, messages, etc that I’ve received over the past few days has just been insane. We are just so thrilled that everyone is being so supportive & sharing in this special time in our lives!

ps. I promise that this blog won’t become a wedding blog, although I’m sure I’ll sneak in some posts here & there and ask for your opinions!

Now, let’s talk gifts! Whether you’re shopping for Christmas, looking for a hostess gift, attending a white elephant party, or need help curating your own list, I’ve got you covered! This list covers a very wide range of gift styles & prices, so I hope you find what you’re looking for…

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  1. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: this is the best candle ever- stocking stuffer (small size), hostess gift, MIL gift, neighbor, coworker, teacher…it works for any & everyone! I also picked up this Christmas tree scented one. OMG. My home smells incredible!
  2. A great plaid scarf is an easy slam dunk of a gift. Every girl either has one, wants one, or needs more. With over 12 colors to choose from & next day Amazon prime shipping, this is a great option!
  3. Coffee table books are always a great housewarming or hostess gift. They’re also perfect for anyone who likes home decor, or who recently moved into a new home! I have this, this & this on my list.
  4. Perfume can be a bit personal (everyone has their preferred scent), so you may want to verify which brand the girl in your life wants. My favorite (2 years running) is Flowerbomb by Viktor + Rolf. If your girl already has her favorite perfume, pick up a travel stick for her stocking- my mom got me one last year and I use it ALL the time!
  5. Every girl loves a good watch. Lately, I’ve had my eye on these soft, feminine ones. Really loving this pink Cluse & this gray Kate Spade. Have a fitbit? Try this ultra cute band to make it look more stylish and less athletic-watch.
  6. When I came across this beanie with built-in headphones, I was immediately intrigued. It’s a great gift for the frequent traveler in your life. So curious, does anyone have one?
  7. Want a classic, stylish, timeless gift she will love? Go for this clutch from GiGi New York. My fiance (!) got me a black one last year and I swear I’ll have it forever. It’s thick, gorgeous material and so incredibly versatile. Really also love this deep green color and this convertible clutch!
  8. Nice servewear is always a solid gift for a hostess, a neighbor, or a coworker. These are safe bets, affordable & small in size. This marble & wood cheese board is so nice, as is this chalkboard one (<– great for a shower host!) A few other suggestions in this category are these kitchen napkins, this holiday wine stopper & these hand blown ornament set.
  9. Give the luxurious, comfortable gift of faux fur! I not only own this faux fur blanket, but I’ve gifted 2-3 over the past year and they’re widely adored. Everyone loves to cozy up in winter. Less expensive version here.
  10. Finally, the perfect gift for that super special lady in your life. Men, listen up: jewelry is always a good idea. I’m loving these citrine & pave studs (for any blondes, the black pair is stunning also!)

What’s on your Christmas wishlist?!

Classy Holiday Bars

With the holidays upon us, party season is here! For many of us, that means an abundance of eating, drinking, dancing, even hosting (my favorite part!) For those of us hosting, we had better make sure that our bar is (A) fully stocked (nothing like running out of alcohol at a party…womp, womp.), (B) organized & clean and (C) visually appealing!

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Whether you have a corner bar cart, a butlers pantry, or a full bar, you’ll want your setup to look classy + festive. Let me help…

Keep it organized

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Trays are, once again, the perfect way to help organize. Grab a few mirrored trays & divide up the goods: wine, liquor, mixers…this makes it easy for your guests to help themselves & everything will go back to its spot!

Also, make sure your glasses are easily accessible. Wine glasses? Hang them near the wine. Cocktail glasses? Stack them nicely beside the liquor. Having a signature drink, perhaps a moscow mule? Keep the copper mugs (and limes!) close by.

Tip: if you can pre-decanter & label your wine, it will not only taste better, but look prettier!

Add some festive charm

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So many fun options: throw in a few ornaments, hang some Christmas garland, have a mini pre-lit tree on the bar, use holiday glassware, lay out fun napkins, hang small wreaths on the bar windows. Whatever you do, keep it simple & classic and you can’t go wrong.

Don’t forget the mixers & tools

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Ugh, what’s worse than making a mixed drink and then realizing there’s no spoon…finger mixing time! Gross. Let’s all do our guests a favor and be prepared- napkins, straws, mixing spoons, shakers, knives/cutting board (make sure you cut lemons/limes ahead). Plus, if you organize all of these tools in either small stations, or in cute bowls (love these West Elm ones), it adds to the charm & decor! Two birds, one stone.

A few snacks never hurt

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Whether you’re having food or not at your holiday party, make sure you’ve got some easy hand snacks. Simple, inexpensive options are mixed nuts, candies, cheese & crackers, olives, etc. These all pair well with alcohol and makes it easier for those guests who may want a little nibble.

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Are you hosting a holiday party this year?

What’s your bar setup look like?