How to Host a NYE Dinner Party

As featured in IBB At Home Winter 2016 Edition

Just because you’re done with turkey dinners and gift wrapping, the holiday season isn’t over! The fanciest of them all is circled on my calendar for December 31st! New Year’s Eve is often one of the most lavish nights of the year filled with glamorous parties, glitzy dresses, and festive dinners. Revelers have high expectations for the evening, so I’ve put together these tips and tricks to help ensure your NYE dinner party goes off with a bang!

1. Guest List and Invitations A well-designed invitation gives your guests a glimpse of just how glamorous your NYE party will be. It’s the first chance to sweep them off their feet, so make sure your invitations help portray the elegance and experience you want to create.

2. Location – New Year’s Eve calls for opulence and grandeur. The best way to set your NYE party apart is through a swanky location. I love the idea of a rooftop dinner party with a show-stopping skyline view to really wow your guests, but if that’s not in the cards for you, think of these non-negotiables: extra space for mingling, a TV screen for the NYE broadcast, and a visible clock for the countdown!

3. Decor – Decorations set the ambience and formality for the entire evening, and it’s impossible to go over the top on New Year’s Eve. It’s a night that calls for all things glittered, sparkly and metallic. The most popular color palettes seen in NYE decor is black, gold, silver and white. If you want to go somewhere in between, I love champagne and pewter tones, or if you want a pop of color, emerald is the perfect hue to pull in!

4. Menu – By the time NYE rolls around, many of us have already been cooking and hosting so many holiday dinners, that it’s nice to keep the menu simple! For this reason, I love serving a variety of cheese, meat, and chocolate fondues. It’s a great, interactive way to involve your guests and minimize the prep work on your end, plus it also provides hours of entertainment for your guests! If you want to add an extra special touch, create personal menus for each guest that correlates with the invitation you sent out!

5. Champagne Bar – NYE is not complete without some bubbly, so be sure to stock up on extra champagne for your soirée! Design a “Pop Fizz Clink” bar to display a signature cocktail as well as a selection of champagnes for your guests!

6. Countdown Plan – The countdown to midnight is often what guests look forward to the most! What is better than ringing in the new year with your special someone and enjoying a midnight kiss? Create something memorable for the moment and make sure to announce the countdown with a microphone. Pass out party hats, horns, confetti, sparklers, or even arrange or a big balloon drop!

Finally, relax and celebrate with your guests! This is your last big gathering of 2016. Grab yourself a glass of champagne, enjoy that extra strawberry dipped in chocolate fondue, and reminisce about all that 2016 had to offer.

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Photography by Lindsay Davenport Photography

Styling and Planning: The Everyday Hostess

Straws/Straw Flags/Napkins: Sequins and Lipstick

Invitations and Menus: Amazing Design Studio

Calligraphy Bar Sign: Slinging Inks of Bella Grafia, Inc.

Festive Christmas Tablescapes

If you read our Christmas Tablescapes Round-up last year, you know how much I absolutely LOVE setting the table for Christmas! I love designing tablescapes on normal days, but Christmas is a whole other ballpark! 😍 I could spend days perusing Pinterest looking for ideas and unique themes to incorporate into my holiday scape!

So! I decided to share the wealth of my endless Pinterest stalking, and gathered some more of my favorite festive holiday tablescapes to help inspire your Christmas decor this season as well!

Crate + Barrel

 Jane Can…

 Inspired by This

 Lauren McBride

 Vignette Design

 Pier One

 Home Talk

 Kelley Nan

 The Magic Brush

 The White Buffalo Styling Co

 100 Layer Cake

Holiday Christmas Spotlight with JORD Wood Watches

Christmas is quickly approaching and we’re down to the wire to finish all that shopping! If you’re like me, you probably have that annual ambition of getting the shopping done early so you can actually enjoy the whole season. However, no matter how hard you try, there is that one gift or person that you leave to the last minute because you can’t think of JUST the perfect thing! Anyone with me?!

I’m definitely in that boat again this year, and I finally discovered the PERFECT gift! Boy, girl, husband, mother, father in law, no matter who it is – this JORD Watch is what you are looking for!  Keep Reading!

Green Monday Deals!

 
Today is Green Monday – The last main day retailers are discounting their goodies before the holidays! So time to get in all of your last minute orders and finish up that shopping! To help take advantage of some of the extra special deals going on today, I’ve linked some of my favorite retailers with their promo codes.
 
  ANN TAYLOR | 40% off with code SHOP40
ASOS | 30% off December Picks – no code necessary
BANANA REPUBLIC | 40% off with code GIFTS
H&M | Extra 30% off 1 Item with code 8996
JC PENNEY| Up to 30% off with code GOGREEN
LANDS END | 40% off with code SNOWFALL 
LOFT |  Up to 40% off with code STYLEEVENT
LORD & TAYLOR | Extra 50% off with code FRIENDS
NORDSTROM | Up to 60% off designer
POTTERY BARN | Extra 20% off with code DELIGHT
 URBAN OUTFITTERS | Extra 25% off
WEST ELM | Up to 30% off with code BEMERRY

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Hostess

We are officially in Christmas party mode, which we just LOVE! What’s more fun than picking out your favorite festive outfits, getting all dressed up, and celebrating the season with your loved ones? We can’t think of much!

Before you run out the door to your next gathering, don’t forget to grab a gift for the hostess! Whether you are looking for a full on Christmas present or just a token of your gratitude, we’ve got you covered with our gift guide for the gal who loves to host! As someone who looks for every reason to host a party or bake something and is elbows deep putting together a wedding registry, I can promise these gifts are a safe bet for any hostess!                                                                                                                   

  1. Nordstrom Champagne Flutes | 2. Monogramed Decanter | 3. Nordstrom Faux Fur Throw | 4. Capri Blue Candle | 5. Le Creuset Dutch Oven | 6. Wusthof Knife Set | 7. Cravings Cookbook | 8. KitchenAid Mixer

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Your gift guide to help inspire you and make your gift buying process a little bit easier this season!

Still trying to find that perfect gift for your sister, mom, best friend, or mother in law?! We’ve got you covered this week with 9 of my favorite Christmas gifts “for her”! These are all items that I either have and love or would love to get, so I figured they would be a good bet! And don’t be afraid to treat yourself because there are some good ones on here! (I’d by lying if I said I hadn’t bought those new boots for myself this season!) Enjoy and happy shopping!

  1. Nordstrom Cashmere Scarf | 2. Kate Spade iPhone Wallet | 3. Kate Spade Watch | 4. Philosophy Amazing Grace Body Wash | 5. Sam Edelman Slouch Boots | 6. S’well Steel Water Bottle | 7. Baublebar Crispin Drops | 8. Lafco Candle | 9. Kate Spade Glitter Clutch

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Your holiday gift guide to help inspire you and make your gift buying process a little bit easier this season!

Happy December, y’all! I can’t believe it’s already the holiday season and time to start our Christmas shopping! Hopefully many of you took advantage of some of the incredible Cyber Monday deals this week, but if not, don’t worry! So many stores are extending their sales this year!

 I know for many of us, husbands and boyfriends can be the hardest to shop for! They either buy the things that they want/need throughout the year, or there are so many things you want to get them that you don’t know where to begin! So to help with your shopping this year, I’ve rounded up my some of favorite picks for the leading man in your life. This guide is full of thoughtful yet practical and useful gifts that I think any guy would love!

  1. Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones |  2. Monogram Square Cuff Links | 3. Penny Loafers |  4. Novel Duffel Bag | 5.  Ted Baker Sweater | 6. Fitbit Smart Fitness Watch | 7. The Perfect Shave Starter Kit | 8. Wool Scarf

Chic Winter Wonderland with Pottery Barn Kids

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If you saw our recent post with WFAA on How to Create Your Own Winter Wonderland, you know that I’m all about the snowy and winter white Christmas decor this year! Being from Colorado, I grew up with a winter wonderland outside where all of our Christmases were white. The colder weather, snow dusted trees, and glowing lights is what made Christmas feel so magical as a kid. So being down here in Texas, with temperatures still in the 70’s some days, has been a bit of a shock!

To help keep the magic of Christmas alive for these Texas kiddos, my friend Summer Adams with She Leaves a Little Sparkle (if you don’t follow her already, hop on over to her blog and shop! She is one the absolute sweetest and most creative people I know!) and I decided to host a chic winter wonderland party for her kids and their friends! And to bring this whole party to life, we teamed up with our incredible friends at Pottery Barn Kids here in Dallas on Knox Street to adorn this party with the most festive decor and furniture!

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To set the wintery and snowy scene, we started by hanging Pottery Barn Kids’ (PBK) Fa La La Glitter Garland and Oversized Felt Snowflakes in the trees.

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We created the coziest little spot for the girls with PBK’s Faux Fur Lounge Chair, Shimmer Velvet Dusty Blush Anywhere Chair, and faux fur throw pillows. To give it that extra playful vibe for the girls, we added our favorite Green Flocked Trees,  Plush Bears, and Reindeer! I wish I could lounge here all day! Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Styled Bachelorette Party

DALLAS NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, DALLAS FINE ART, FINE ART, HOWELL FAMILY FARMS, FORT WORTH NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, FORT WORTH FINE ART, DALLAS BACHELORETTE PARTY, FORT WORTH BACHELORETTE PARTY, SOUTHERN WEDDING, WEDDING INSPO, BACHELORETTE PARTY, TEXAS PARTY, TABLESCAPE, STYLED SHOOT, BRIDESMAIDS, PARTY, RACHEL ELAINE PHOTOGRAPHY, GOLD DUST

Happy Wedding Wednesday! It’s been a while since we’ve had a wedding post around here, but we are back in full swing with one of every future bride’s favorite part of the engagement season -the bachelorette party!

Even if you’re not currently planning a bachelorette party, this styled shoot I did with Gold Dust Vintage, will have you dropping hints to all your gal’s boyfriends to put a ring on it so you too can throw this chic bachelorette slumber party!

DALLAS NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, DALLAS FINE ART, FINE ART, HOWELL FAMILY FARMS, FORT WORTH NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, FORT WORTH FINE ART, DALLAS BACHELORETTE PARTY, FORT WORTH BACHELORETTE PARTY, SOUTHERN WEDDING, WEDDING INSPO, BACHELORETTE PARTY, TEXAS PARTY, TABLESCAPE, STYLED SHOOT, BRIDESMAIDS, PARTY, RACHEL ELAINE PHOTOGRAPHY, GOLD DUST

A feminine palette of gold, black and white with pops of red was just what this party needed to create a trendy and swanky vibe – and that it was! This girls night was nothing short of modern and stylish! Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself and get inspired! Keep Reading!

Cyber Monday Deals!

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Cyber Monday is my favorite day to knock out all my Christmas shopping! Cheapest day of the year + no malls or lines?! Count me in! Below is a list of our favorite Cyber Monday deals and promo codes!
 
ALLEN EDMONDS | Save up to 50% on select styles
AMAZON | Cyber Monday deals up to 77% off on select items 
ANN TAYLOR | 50% off everything & free shipping with code CYBER50
ASOS | 30% off everything with code THANKFUL30
BANANA REPUBLIC | 50% off everything, no exclusions!
CLINIQUE | 25% off everything with code CYBER
BAUBLE BAR  | 35% off 2+ items with code SAVE35
BERGDORF GOODMAN  | 40% off men’s and women’s designer
BLOOMINGDALES  | 25% off selection of regular and sale-price items, free returns + free shipping
EXPRESS  | 50% off everything & free shipping on all orders
GAP  | 50% off everything with code CYBMON 
GIGI NEW YORK  | Spend $125, save 20%; spend $250 save 25%; spend $350 save 30%
J.CREW  | 40% off your purchase + free shipping with code MONDAY 
JOSS & MAIN | Extra 30% off select sales with code CYBERDAY
KATE SPADE  | 30% off with code WIRED
LAST CALL  | Extra 40% to 80% off everything  with code CYBER
LOFT | 50% off everything with code CYBERMONDAY
MACY’S | Extra 20% off and free shipping with $25 purchase, use code CYBER
MARK AND GRAHAM | 25% off everything + free shipping & monogramming with code FRIENDS
NEIMAN MARCUS | Receive gift card with purchase with code GC4YOU
NORDSTROM | Extra 20% off selected items
NORDSTROM RACK | Free Shipping + up to 75% off clearance
SUR LA TABLE | Save up to 75% + Extra 20% off clearance with code SAVEBIG16
SWOOZIES | 20% off plus free shipping with code CYBERMONDAY
TORY BURCH | 30% off everything with code THANKS
WAYFAIR | Up to 80% off 
WILLIAM SONOMA | Buy more save more (10% off $50 purchase, 15% off $100 purchase, etc)