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Friday, December 31, 2010

Five, four, three, two, one.....


'Out with the old, and in with the new'!

I hope for each of you a wonderful new year with:

    *New opportunities (that you recognize)
    *New chances (that you take)
    *New loves (that you nourish)
    *New friends (that you make)
    *New ideas (that you have)
    *New attitudes (that you create)
    *New blessings (that you are grateful for)

...and most importantly, new ways to spend what little time you have, with your family and friends - the people that mean the most!
As I travel today, I'm leaving you with a couple of photos of a New Year's table I designed for a client last year, that is still one of my favs!

 Cheers to a New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Party Trending on CNN..

Yep, it's official...It was just announced on CNN that PIE is the new cupcake!
Why?  Because it's both savory and sweet, can be large or small, and as reported in my earlier post - COMFORT FOOD!

2nd on their trend list is small bites...Tapas are here to stay, and they've gone global!  Watch for all ethnic foods to go small...

Finally, the Food Truck craze will go one further - Watch for Food CARTS to take their place, when there's no more room to park!

We'll keep watchin'!

Cheers to a New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What's HOT in 2011!

Are you ready?  Ready or not, here comes 2011! 
Here's What's Hot and What's Not for the New Year!
The new year brings new trends.  Here's a peek at what's coming in 2011...

Living Online
Social media is only growing in influence. But it's evolved in the past 12 months. Here's what's new:
2010: Social Networking: Facebook, Linked in, Kik Messenger
2011: Social Buying: Lockerz, Plum District, Ideeli
(2010 was all about social networking, now it's about social buying – group discounts available to online communities).

And whether we're doing social buying or social networking, we're all spending a lot of time on our computers. But there's a change there too:
2010: Living Online: Gilt, i Tunes, Amazon
2011: Living in the Cloud: Netflix, Grooveshark, Mobile Me, iPad, Verizon mobile internet, Apple TV
(In 2010, we lived online. This year, we'll be living in the cloud -- accessing our data online instead of storing it on our computers)

Comfort is Cool! 
This is the year of 'homey' and 'homemade'.  Don't be fooled - 'Dining In' IS IN, along with the food favorites you love!
Food Trends:
Fish tacos, cupcakes (NOT cupcakes!) and Red Bull are out....Fried chicken,  pies and relaxation drinks are in.
2010: Fish Tacos
2011: Fried Chicken
2010: Cupcakes
2011: Pies

'Amped' Up?  It's Time to 'Chill Out'!
You can keep your Starbucks, but skip the Red Bull and other high-energy drinks~ After being 'amped up' for a year, 2011 brings with it relaxation!

2010: Red Bull
2011: Relaxation Drinks:  Dream Water, Ichill, Genesis Today, Goji Juice Drink

Books to Look for...

In the new year, teens will be reading...
A new series called "Hunger Games."
The sun has set on "Twilight."
2010: "Twilight" series
2011: "Hunger Games"

Finally, Fashion!

2010 Fashion TrendsWhat's OUT!
 Military Pants
Leopard Wedges
Geometric-shaped Necklaces
Khaki Nail polish

2011 Fashion TrendsIN!

Honeysuckle Pink Skirts (Pantone's 2011 Color of the Year)
Lace Shirts
Kitten Heels
Black  iridescent nail polish
Floral Pieces

 More of what's in store for 2011:
Apps for Fun --> Apps for Happiness & Smarts
3D movies --> 3D TV
Text donations --> micro funding
Wii --> Kinect
Sleek tech --> Hiding modern tech


Food Trucks -->Gardens in restaurants
Locavore --> Vegivore
Bacon in everything --> Quinoa in everything


Snooki Poof --> Pixie Cut
Jeggings --> Lowbells
'80s --> '70s


Big Stars in Movies --> Big Stars in Video Games
Goofy Guys in Movies --> Real Heroes in Movies
Vampires --> Zombies

Other Silly Stuff

Silly bands --> Silly Rings
Zhu Zhu Pets --> Squinkies
Ping Pong --> Skee Ball

Information for this article was provided in part by Trendra, a leading trend-spotting firm, and ABC

Cheers to 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Is it 'snowing' yet?!

I live in the desert west of Texas, and we rarely get a White Christmas!  So, sometimes, it's just better to create your own!

I recently posted the successful 'Cookies and Cocktails' party that 'Just Us Girls' had.  The party carried a snowflake theme, and since then, I've been busy using the snowflakes all around the house - it's crazy, but I love it!  Well, now the usual Christmas decor that I bring down in tubs, has gone by the wayside, and the snowflake theme has taken over my Christmas table, my wrapping paper, my gift tags, and yes, even my front door!
I'll post this first picture to show you how I continued using the 'Believe' cupcake toppers (created by The Celebration Shoppe), and the larger vintage snowflake coasters (from Squirrel Friend).   After embellishing all with more 'bling', they were punched or cut out to use as gift tags with a cute little sparkly snowflake!
Stay tuned, I've got more pics to come!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have A Very Merry...

...'Cupcake' Christmas!

As we begin to approach the final countdown, I had to share just a few more faves I found on the 'net!

Take the time to check out each one, by clicking on their link, and leaving them a little 'love' (comment or two)!
No doubt, that's the best Christmas gift you could give!

Remember the REAL reason for the season, and as always ~ Sip! Savor! Celebrate!

Santa Down the Chimney' by Sugar Daze

'Oh Christmas Tree'  by Sweet Scarlet

'Starlight Mint Cupcakes from the book What's New Cupcake?

Snowflake Cupcakes by Glorious Treats...

La Mia Vita Dolce's Peppermint Marshmallow Cream- Filled
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes....

Coca-Cola Snow Globe Cupcake by Bakerella

A Christmas Cupcake Collage from Hoosier Homemade...

And FINALLY, takin' it back home to Texas
with a crowd favorite from Austin...

Choco-Chris-Mint Cupcake from 'Lick It, Bite It, or Both' !

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's in Your Cup?

Every year, at this time,  I order a sleeve or two of cups that have a fun saying of some sort, (you know..the kind of saying you'd like to say, but can't?) printed on the side.  I use them for just about everything, and sometimes give them away to my girlfriends.  They make great hostess gifts, too!

Well, one of my favorite party websites (and cool place in Nashville!) has cups on sale online!  This is one place where 'entertaining with an attitude' really sets the tone for lots of celebrations.  (I'm loving the 'Mommy Sippy Cups'!)

Hope you take a look at You Need a Drink, and check out all of their party products.  While you're there, don't forget to order some cups for yourself!
As always,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Color of 2011

Did you hear?  The color leader in the design industry, PANTONE, has just announced the Color of the Year for 2011....and would you believe? It's MY favorite!   Here's what PANTONE says on the choice:

A Color for All Seasons
'Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.  While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life'.  All I can say is THINK PINK!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Cookies & Cocktails"- The Party!

With my daughter getting married recently, and luckily living just around the corner from us AND her in-laws, we decided it would be fun to start a new female family tradition - a 'Just us Girls' Cookies and Cocktails' Christmas party!   And what FUN it was!  

Greeting guests with cool Candy Cane Martinis (Martha Stewart), pretty Pomegranate Margaritas and a bubbling Cranberry-Champagne Punch, it was just the beginning to a sugar-sweet soiree! 

Using a snowflake theme, our custom-designed 'Snow Ornament' invitation
by graceprintables went perfectly with the 'Believe' Collection of party printables
from The Celebration Shoppe that I used throughout the party.    

Each invitation (which said 'Baubles and Bling and a new Cookie Thing') sparkled with hand-set rhinestones, 

as did the snowy decor, and many of the 
printable party pieces...

Giant snowflakes hung 
down from the ceiling 
over the cookie display table 
and the frosty tree centerpiece...
while handmade 'snowflake' marshmallows  adorned the beverage table that featured coffee, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (and Peppermint Schnapps if you dare!) along with my homemade white chocolate spoons, and peppermint sticks for  stirring.  

Having six hostesses, I found cute snowflake aprons (Target) which we wore, and even the littlest hostess - Logan - and her friend, Taylor, wore fun feather boas in our 'Candy Cane' Photo Booth!  
How sweet is that?

We're ready for Christmas... how about you?  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pink Gingerbread?

Yep, you heard right...
If it's one thing I ADORE it's anything in the color PINK! 
Well, apparently I'm not alone.  And as gingerbread-baking traditions go, I'm not alone there either!

Over at Pizzazerie, Courtney shows the adorable little pink gingerbread houses she and her mom made for a Holiday Tea Party.  It's pure PINK perfection!

'Cookies and Cocktails'!

Coming soon- a photo collage of our new Christmas tradition! Stay tuned while I edit, before posting. You'll want to see this!...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gingerbread War!

Fifteen years ago, my young family, along with the neighbors and their kids, began baking old--fashioned gingerbread, carefully cutting squares from a pattern, and turning them into simple houses.  We decorated ourselves, the kitchen counter-tops and sometimes even the little houses!  No hands were too small - even my youngest participated at the age of four. Topped with white royal frosting, and somehow through all the mess, we managed great sugary smiles! (Even my freezer has a shelf devoted  just to leftover candy for decorating!) Like all things however, over time the neighborhood changed, the kids grew up, and some even moved away. 

So, four years ago, we invited my daughter's boyfriend and his family to participate on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I found out that decorating gingerbread houses with BIG kids takes on an entirely new life! It wasn't simply 'decorating' turned into WAR!   Not a food fight, exactly, but VERY competitive! 
Since my daughter married this young man recently, of course what better way to celebrate their first holiday together as a married couple, than with 'Gingerbread War'!  With frosting decorating bags in hand, we plan to carry on the tradition this weekend. Stay tuned and I'll post photos soon!  In the meantime, check out these cool 'take out' boxes from 'Garnish', for your gingerbread house.  Such a great way to take the 'house' from the home!


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