Holiday Cocktails and beverages…

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Christmas is next week so here is a round up of alcoholic cocktail options for your holiday entertaining…

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Even if you’re simply pouring wine out of the bottle, you can jazz up any non alcoholic or spirit with pretty garnishes. Freeze grapes and cranberries to replace ice cubes, add pomegranates, raspberries or cranberries to the bottom of flutes, mix basil or mint leaves in the drinks or ice cubes and line rims with colorful salts. You can add cinnamon sticks and chopped peppermint as well to make it all festive.

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{Recipes via pomegranate and rosemary white sangria, spicy gingerman, reindeer bubbles, coconut vanilla bellinis, pomegranate orange sangria, blackberry ombre sparkler, cranberry rosemary white christmas sangria, smores martini, smores hot chocolate, cranberry margaritas}


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Retail Therapy: AtHome Milwaukee is now open!

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So this week AtHome opened here in Milwaukee (Wauwatosa’s old Kmart on Hwy 100) and I am in love. I have been following them on instagram for sometime so when I drove by and saw we were getting one, I was beyond excited. My coworker stopped there this week and told me she spent 2 hours in there. All I wondered is how is it possible to spend that long in a store that’s not Ikea. Then I went….

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Yesterday I stopped in and they had cake slices and coffee since it was their 100th store opening.  I went down 75% of the store bypassing most of the Christmas aisle because….it’s not Thanksgiving yet.

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They had some awesome pieces of furniture like sidetables, plant stands and small dressers…

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It was the art section that killed me. When the lady told us “wait until you get to the art side”, she wasn’t lying.

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So we walked down aproximately 10 aisles looking at art, decorative letters, clocks, metal and mirrors and wrapped canvases for 20 mins…

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I mean….it was overwhelming in the most lovely possibly way. They had every metal whether gold, silver, gunmetal etc and every style you can think of….

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They had art that would make cool headboards. The wood plank one in the upper left would make for a great statment in a rustic room especially if doubled on top for a tall bed backdrop…

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I love skyscrapers so I scooped up this large canvas for only $49. Here I was, walking with mom thinking I scored when I looked around the corner….

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We weren’t done with the art section! There was at least another 12 aisles or so more to browse….

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Then we got to the end and turned the corner to see another 6 aisles or so of smaller pictures, blank frames & kids art. It was insane. It’s impossible not to find SOMETHING. As a matter of fact, you may have a hard time deciding what to put back…

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I went home with one of the pink stylized tables. The black ones were $14 & $19! The prices were so good here…

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You have to go toward the outdoor section too because a lot of the tables there can easily be incorporated inside the home. Tables as low as $39, $49 & up.

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Now these were more pricey but I love the boxwood options for patio privacy…

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I will be going back to get one of these. I have always loved potted topiaries and they look good inside the home as well as on the porch. The best part? They’re faux so no worries about killing them and having to maintain the shape!

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Can we talk about pillows? I love them as much as the next girl but I can’t spend my client’s budget on two pillows for $300. I’d rather go to retail places and mix to create a cool look. AtHome has several color coded aisles of pillows and a lot were only $12.

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The Container Store Opens Today in Milwaukee!!!

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First, I apologize for the quietness around here. The last couple weeks have been busy, plus with updating my Portfolio and being under the weather, I haven’t felt like finishing blog drafts. It was just 90 degrees last week but fall temps and highs of 60 creeped in. I’m not ready. Anyhoo, I was invited to attend a special blogger preview of the new The Container Store Thursday. Insert excited emoji here. So soon as I rsvp’d I sent the request off from work. It was a noon affair with a store tour, free box lunch (I had the steak ceasar which was delicious), and we all were gifted $50 gift cards! This post has a lot of pictures. Sorry in advance…
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Our gift cards came in cute lucite boxes which I’m using now for jewerly…

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Sonja, who was out tour guide, was a great host. She told us how The Container Store really trains their staff with full time workers going through 260 hours and part time workers 177 hours of training. This is the first Wisconsin location to open and it is their 74th store…

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Cuz you know…you have to have an aerial food pic…

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We were sitting on the dancefloor. More on that later…

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When we went on the tour of 16 lifestyle sections, we saw beautiful floral displays that were going to be transformed into 5 food stations for the evening shindig. I liked how creative they were in using items the store sells to create elevations. I think the brown slit crates were actually hampers. This was where the sushi station end up…

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This food station was created with desktop file organizers and baskets.  They used real cabbages and artichokes. So pretty…

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There was color everywhere…
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Grassy party backdrops…

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A design trend I’ve noticed this year is greenery as a backdrop for photobooths or dessert tables. I love this classy elegant look to an outdoor summer wedding or party…

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Having a lit marquee sign or uplights will be perfect for an evening affair…

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This is one of my all time favorite reception lounge designs. I really like the mirrored pedastals and tables with the different mirrors. This is a great way to reflect light in a space while the sparkles of the lighting and candles bounce around…

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What a cool July 4th backdrop….

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{Images via colin cowie, kristi murphy, hostess blog, CFD NY, karas party ideas, style me pretty, Wildflower Linens, & Katie Vowels for Annie McElwain}


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Fun Friday: root beer float party

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I love root beer floats and like the idea of having a station at a wedding or summer party. Frankly, it doesn’t have to be a party. They can simply just use a few festive items and make the afternoon chillin at home that much better. For a camping woodsy party, use vintage items like old soda posters, labels and mason jars with tree stumps…

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Serving them in champange glasses on a tray is a really elegant spin for a reception…

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I personally really love the soda shop retro diner ideas. I created a few collages on ways you could decorate for it…

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For a diner feel,  use pink or red with black and white. Make sure to buy a checkerboard tablecloth and if funds allow, scour craigslist for old bar stools and tables. Also go thrift shopping for old records to use as backdrops. Use cupcake stands to neatly store all of the jars or toppings.

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For a pretty pastel spread, use wooden decorative spoons, colorful bowls and straws and vintage china plates and bowls for toppings. Add polka dot napkins or a lace tablecloth for a shabby chic look…

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For a wedding, have a ruffled tablecloth or use a burlap runner. Use glass dessert bowls and keep it simple with stainless steel spoons and straws. I really like the chalkboard labels for mason jars for this setting. Vintage marquee signs and lights or framed soda ice cream posters or string lights would finish it off. You may want to incorporate other chocolate desserts to this table like smores, brownies or warmed cookies so if people dislike root beer, they can always add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to form their own dessert. Or have sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whip cream and cherries for those that want to jazz up their beverage or make a sundae. Anytime people can serve themselves, it allows for mingling and a form of entertainment without doing much. Now….I’m hungry. 😩😋🍧.

{Images via ur Labor of Love by Heidi Canary Grey Photography Elisa B Photography Janae Hardy Amber French Photography Simply by Tamara NicoleI heart nap time, somewhere splendid, style me pretty, wedding chicks, the sweetest occassion, celebrations at home, love paper paint, love and lavender, rustic wedding chic}


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Secret Garden themed parties…

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Enchanted forests and secret garden themes are wonderful to celebrate nuptials or babies. You can have dinner parties or early brunches in this theme as long as you decorate with some key elements. The super large mirrors is very dramatic for a cocktail hour or reception.

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Ever since I seen rapper Ludacris’ wife’s baby shower set in a secret garden theme, I’ve been wanting to blog about it. They had lit birdcages adorned with flowers, donuts hung from ribbon and a lot of the guest, like singers Monica & Letoya Luckett, wore floral dresses. How beautiful.

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Creating intimate elaborate tables for the wedding party or bride and groom while having simpler centerpieces on the remaining tables can save money…

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Key elements: string leafy garland. Get them bulk or buy from places like Michael’s and use 40% off coupons. If it’s for a kid’s party, use Dollar Tree garland and save coins for other things.

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Use string lights and electric candles to create ambience…

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String together flowers or floral garland for drama. You might want to only do this behind a gift or cake table as this can get quite costly…

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Use mason jars and mismatched china as well as rustic decor like burlap, branches, bark pieces, faux tree stumps, rope and wicker…

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You have to incorporate moss somewhere and covering giant letters or making a grassy centerpiece is a start…

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Adorn a cupcake stand or cake table with flower heads. Just grab a bouquet from the grocery store to jazz up the presentation…

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Lanterns, wood crates, old dressers and empty frames are other decorating options. You want to have a “just thrown together” look without being too matchy. It should feel relaxed but polished. Remember the more you layer the better so play with height and make sure different foods are at different levels. You want to build your food table upward…

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{Images via Moxie Sox Photography Amanda O’Shannessy Creative Lynette Boyle Photography Amy Burke Designs Page Bertelsen Photographyceremony blog, 100 layer cake, celebrations at home, southern weddings, oui oui}


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Happy Mama’s Day…

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Hope you mothers out there are enjoying your day. Here is an absolutely gorgeous tablescape and party by Lillian Hope Designs. See more of the deets and free printables over on Karas Party Ideas.

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Don’t forget to enter the flamingo pool float giveaway simply by telling me your pool party must have in this post. Picking the winner tomorrow.

{Photos by Heather Carpenter Photography}


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Happy a cinco de mayo peeps!

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If you have a colorful scarf or blanket, just fold it like a table runner…

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You can tie bandanas together to create easy colorful banners…

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Create a nachos, taco or burrito bar…

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Pool Party Essentials plus Flamingo Pool Float Giveaway

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This weekend the weather was beautiful and we hit our first 80 degree day yesterday. Since Memorial day is in a few weeks I figured I would compose a list of pool party essentials.

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Keep guest entertained by renting a projector and showing a movie at night…

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I think it’s a cute idea to use sand buckets or small baskets as favor bags. For kids you can include water guns, outdoor sidewalk chalk, bubbles, bug repellent, sunscreen etc and for adults you can have mini alcohol bottles, beach towels and sunglasses. Give their favors to them upon arrival so they can use the items at the party…

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The music has to be a good mix of upbeat and party classics so spend time creating a playlist that doesn’t repeat for hours and save your favorite streaming stations…

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I think the perfect pool party should have temperatures in the 90s. The reason I like it hot is because nights at 80 degrees are my absolute favorite. Just ensure you have a fire pit if it drops to the 70s…

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Even if your pool is smaller, a giant float is dramatic and pretty…

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Have pool toys and a number of beach balls littered in the lawn for a festive look…

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I think a fabulous kimono sheer coverup has to be on hand…

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Every outdoor space needs string lights or lanterns..

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Have floaties for your drinks, festive straws and drink stirrers, & dispensers of a siganture drink so you don’t have to play bartender the entire time…

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You can always use children’s pools filled with ice to keep beer, wine cooler bottles, soda and water cold…

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So to kick off pool season Big Mouth Inc is offering one lucky United States resident a flamingo pool float! From rubber duckies to pink flamingos and classic candy and video games, these floats are perfect for the summer! I also love their donut tube float. It just really livens a pool up. All you need to do to enter is tell me below in the comments one thing you have to have for a great pool party experience. Winner will be picked at random next Monday May 11th! For one additional entry, share this post using the share button below 👇and make sure you hashtag #flamingofloatfun so I see it. Thank you & good luck!

{Images via hostess blog, karas party ideas, oh happy day w/ Photos by Tracy Layne Photography & random pinterest finds}


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