An Easy DIY Paper Bow For Your Holiday Bar Cart

My bar cart is smack dab in the middle of my dining room. It begs to be spiffed up and styled for any and all occasions. Heck I probably style her every week. A new design for the bar cart means I get to swap out my endless collection of bar glasses. It's fun and easy and my little corner of heaven. Do you need some help with a holiday bar cart that isn't something out of the Griswold's? Moose cups and tinsel not really your thing? Why not create this simple yet festive holiday bar cart? Pop over to Society Social to see how I styled my gilded sidekick (aka the Sedgewick bar cart) for the holidays.

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I'm loving my version of a bow. I made my own paper ribbon from a black and white striped runner. Want to make one too? Pop on this song and hop over to Society Social for the full DIY.

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This song will get stuck in your head, but I am all about something fun and different. When entertaining I love to surprise them. I never heard of this song until this year and it immediately became one of my favorites, much better suited to a grown-up shindig than that song about Rudolph, right?

Holiday decorating should be about you. Take a few things that aren't traditional, like black and white paper and transform your holiday decor into the perfect reflection of you and your style. A little bit of this, a little bit of that and boom. Happy Holidays. Get all the details on how to style this cart over at Society Social.

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A Modern Holiday Table Setting: New Year's Ideas

In the craziness of finishing up our list and checking it twice, now is the time to start thinking of New Year's. While you are out and about snagging last minute essentials for your Christmas table, be sure to grab a few additions for your New Year's table. New Year's is about starting over, looking at the world with fresh eyes and choosing your path. Why not kick it off with a punch and start it off beautifully, forging ahead with something new? Host a New Year's dinner and keep it simple, fresh and modern. Use a new color palette you have never tried for your table settings, like this amazing turquoise set from B by Brandie. Mix and match salad plates, chargers and the rest to your heart's content, swap out your dinner plates for variety.

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Keep your table clear and open by using a tall, thin candleabra. I love this one from Crate and Barrel. The angles are divine and mimic the diamond pattern on the plates. Use either light colored candles, as seen here or black for a more moody vibe. The openess of the candleabra allows for conversation.

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Make your table fun. Find a great fabric and use it instead of a table cloth. This black and white ikat like pattern was the key to taking a drab table and added a ton of detail. The table feels fuller than it is and the black and white pattern really helps the aqua plates pop off the table. Mix and match your metal finishes and eras, like I did here using my favorite vintage Dirilyte flatware.

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Always have a floral arrangement. It can be foliage instead, but be sure to have something alive. I opted to have one on my Society Social bar cart next to the table. It is still in the room but clears up the table. I took a simple cylinder vase and dipped it in confetti. It's New Year's and you have to have confetti somewhere. Stay tuned for a quick and simple DIY for this in the works.

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A fun idea, why not have two of the same size fork for your salad and dinner forks? It looks fresh and I love the length. It's breaking all the rules but it's a New Year's and rules were meant to be broken, right?

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If you want a fuller table and an open arrangement is a smidge on the stark side, move the flowers to the center of the table. The gorgeous length of Amaranthus can weave through the place settings like garland, adding a ton of luxury and interest to the table. I love, love, love Amaranthus. I am also loving mix and match glasses. My favorite water glasses from Crate and Barrel and these gorgeous Olivia Wine/Champagne combo glasses from B by Brandie. Business on the top, party on the bottom, perfect for a little bubbly.

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I also made my own napkins the quick and easy way, without any sewing! You will need one yard of fabric, washed, dried and ironed. Take the yard of fabric and cut it into four squares, 18" by 18". Then on each side, cut a small slit about 1/2" in from the side. Pull and tear a strip of fabric off the edge. Repeat on all sides. Trim the excess strings. This torn edge is fresh, modern and contrasts well with a formal place setting. This watercolor fabric is divine, I found it at a mill end fabric store.  I like how it has the colors of the plates but not perfectly. It is so important to vary the shades of the color palette, or else you risk the look being to stiff.

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I love a good party. Be sure to stock up now so you are all set for New Year's too. It's already crazy, I like to get everything out of the way so all I need to do between Christmas and New Year's is recharge and relax.

Products were provided by B by Brandie. All opinions are my own.

HP, Fringe and Cocktails with Alexandra Hedin

People ask me all the time where do I get my inspiration for party decorations. How do I start? I get the best inspiration from some of my talented friends.  HP asked if I wanted to test drive the new HP ENVY x2 and show you how. For the past six seasons, HP has been partnered with the Project Runway designers to demonstrate the role of tech in fashion and the creative arts. This past season the designers were paired with young innovators from Next Generation Achievers to draw inspiration for creative ideas and then used HP’s innovative, hybrid technologies to create their own original textile designs. I wanted to take a cocktail and turn it into party decor. For inspiration I turned to my friend Alexandra Hedin, a local entertaining expert here in Seattle, who knows cocktails for anything. I adore her and who better than the gal who has Charm Hour, every day at 5pm. A libation to relax and unwind at the end of the day? I wish she was my neighbor.

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When I asked Alexandra if she would create a cocktail for me to draw inspiration from, she immediately said yes (because she is so amazing). This girl always blows my mind, her entertaining style is chic, timeless and effortless. She even has custom napkins for her test kitchen, which is in a revamped firehouse. Every detail is covered and perfected, it is really an art and she is a master. We started pinning away on a shared board on Pinterest. Once I got a feel for her cocktail design, I could start pinning color and style ideas.

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Using the HP ENVY x2, it was really easy to pin my ideas because it has a touch screen. Now that Pinterest has a super simple pinning feature where you can just touch the image you want to repin, a touch screen tablet is a must. I'm one of those people, probably the only one, who has the hardest time working on laptops. The laptop track pad/mouse thing drives me crazy on all makes and models, I am just not very coordinated. But with the ENVY x2, I can use the touch screen whenever and however I need to by simply touching where I want to type, click, whatever. It's brilliant and I love it.

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When she sent over her recipe, it just clicked. Cran-Orange Punch,  a yummy blend  of pomegranate and cranberries with Aperol, a yummy Italian aperitif. Classic, easy, and a twist, it was like a fringe garland in a glass. So that's what I set out to create. A fun classic fringe garland, but with a twist.

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The cocktail was a gorgeous shade of pink and red, from the cranberries, so I wanted to create that with the garland. I did it by inserting two sheets of hot pink tissue in between two sets of 4 sheets of red. Fold the layers of tissue paper in half not length wise, but width wise to make it longer than the traditional fringe. Sew across the folded edge, connecting sets of tissue as you go. Once you are all sewn together, cut the fringe with a rotary cutter and a cutting mat. This lets you use a straight edge, do get evenly spaced fringe. Also, a rotary cutter is the key to not having your hand cramp from cutting oodles of fringe. Fluff, hang and voila!  What better way to accent around your party than to line every edge with fringe?  No better way, I say, no better way.

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What inspires you? Do you blog, cook, throw parties, or paint? What do you create and where do you get your inspiration from? The coolest thing about the HP Envy x2 is that it is so light and small you can take it anywhere. Need a tablet? With the press of one button you can have one. Perfect for fine tuning those cocktail recipes.

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Want to see for yourself? HP wants to give you an ENVY x2 of your very own! Yep, you can enter to win one amazing laptop, who moonlights as a tablet, right here, right now!  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here telling me what inspires you do do what you do? Want a second chance to win? Tweet about this contest, easy right? You can tweet and get an entry once a day! Yep, that's more than a second chance, it's like a third, fourth chance! Contest runs through Midnight next Tuesday, November 26th. Winner will be announced Wednesday on this post. Good luck!

This is a sponsored post; I was given an HP Envy x2 by HP to review and create this post. All opinions are my own.

Merry and Bright Holiday Decorations

Get it now. We interrupt our regularly scheduled holiday (aka Thanksgiving) for an important announcement, in case you haven't noticed, Christmas decorations are out in stores. Every year, the first thing I do is run around and grab all the stuff I love. I have made the mistake of waiting too many times before only to find my gorgeous ornaments, wrapping paper or trees are long gone by the time December rolls around. So regardless of when you decorate, I highly recommend snatching up what you covet when you see it. If it is as awesome as you think it is, it won't be around long. I've rounded-up my favorite Merry and Bright Christmas decor for you, I hope you like it. 

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Shop this: Festive Folded Wreath Kit, Paper Source // White Christmas Tree, Walmart // Faceted Drop Ornaments, Crate and Barrel // Merry and Bright Hurricane, Target // Nested Gift Boxes, Target // Holly Jolly Garland, Anthropologie // All The Colors of The Rainbow Ornaments, Land of Nod // Treat Bags, Kate Spade //

This tree? $40 at Walmart. I have struggled for years to find a perfect white tree that has no iridescent sparkle  and was just plain white. I also am cheap when it comes to trees and refuse to spend more than $100 for a tree. I'd rather spend it on this crazy amazing garland with embroidered letters and tassels. OMG. Also, I just so happened to snag a bunch of these candy coated (unbreakable) ornaments at the sidewalk sale this summer from Land of Nod. I want these drop ornaments now to go with. Treat Yourself favor bags? Unbearably awesome.

These goodies would look fabulous for a party, a little bit festive a whole lot of color, perfect to brighten up these grey days we have ahead of us in Seattle. You might think I am crazy for hopping around town grabbing goodies this early in the game, but I'll tell you I'm not missing out on something amazing. Colors like these don't show up in Holiday decor all the time and you have to grab them while you can!