Dec
23

My (Imaginary) New Year’s Eve 2013

After the craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas I like to make New Year’s Eve more low-key. A come as you are get together with good friends and family is just what the doctor ordered for a great start to a new year! Want to dress up? Go for it. Prefer pajamas? That’s cool, too. We’ll decorate some with metallics and pinks and call it a day. Everyone can bring an appetizer or dessert and I’ll provide the cocktails – sound good? Mix and mingle as you please, and if you can’t stay awake until the ball drops? No judgement. Now that’s my kinda party.

 

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THE DECOR
Confetti Triangle Invitations – Oh Happy Day
DIY Confetti Wreath – A Subtle Revelry
Handmade Paper Bunting – Toast UK
Recycled Honeycomb Tissue Paper Pouf – Zipper Teeth
Happy New Year Garland – Anthropologie
Porcelain Hurricanes – West Elm
Silver + Gold New Year Tiara – Party 411
Black + Silver New Year Top Hat – Amol’s Fiesta Party Supplies
New Years Surprise Confetti – Anthropologie

THE TABLE
‘Larabee Dor Fete Mini Champagne Saucer – Kate Spade
DIY Happy New Year Cake Topper – Style Me Pretty
Floating Blocks Table Runner – LEIF
Glittering Flatware – Anthropologie
Gold Confetti Paper Napkins – Anthropologie
Mercury Glass Octagonal Hurricanes – West Elm
Metallic Print Glassware Set – West Elm
Pink Pop Side Plate – Burke Decor
Pink Dot Tablecloth – Hay

THE COCKTAILS
Black Rose – Kelley Moore
Cinnamon Maple Bourbon Sour – So… Let’s Hang Out
Cranberry Pear Mulled Wine – Couldn’t Be Parve
Cranberry-Orange Sparkler – Martha Stewart
Cucumber Gin Salt + Pepper Cups – Joy the Baker
Hot Buttered Rum – Not Without Salt
Sparkling Raspberry Cocktail – Apartment34
Sugar and Spice Russian – Waiting On Martha
Winter Punch – 101 Cookbooks

Dec
18

An (Imaginary) Holiday Appetizer Party

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I’ve always wanted to throw a party that’s strictly about appetizers. Think about it, they’re one of the best parts of any special meal and you can typically fill up on them alone. Oh, and my definition of an “appetizer” is basically anything that can be eaten in three bites or less, which leaves plenty of room for interpretation and inspiration. The good news? You’re invited to my imaginary holiday appetizer party! (All links and sources at the end of the post.)

 

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First let’s set the mood with plenty of simple touches. Ice lanterns lining the front walk and a tinseled wreath on the front door. Rustic vases full of berried branches. A festive backdrop for photos and plenty of white paper pendants suspended from the ceiling. Even miniature handmade wreaths for party favors!

 

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The best hostesses always offer a beverage as soon as you’ve walked in the door and they’ve taken your coat! I like to offer a selection of hot and cold, boozy and non-boozy, that way you’re sure to have something for everyone. Most of the beverages above can be made in large batches, making it super easy to use pitchers and allow your guests to refill at their leisure. And of course allowing you to actually enjoy your own party!

 

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When entertaining during the holidays, I like to purchase one or two special pieces for the occasion and rely on everyday pieces for the rest. In this case the purchases are small wooden appetizer forks, napkins and a festive cheese board. Otherwise it’s easy to stick to basics in our white, black, gold, and wood palette.

 

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Last (but definitely not least) are the appetizers themselves. I think the rule of one plate of apps to every two people invited is a good rule to go by. Again, here I like to have a good mix of savory/sweet, soft/crispy, hot/cold, etc. Lots of these recipes can be prepped a day or two ahead of time and popped in the refrigerator until you’re ready to either warm them, assemble them, or set them out for guests. That equals less stress for you and a get together you can not only enjoy, but participate in. Happy Holidays!

THE DECOR
Birchwood Vase – Better Homes & Gardens
DIY Mini Holiday Wreaths – The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Lantern Kit – Terrain
DIY Tinsel Garland Wreath – Creature Comforts
Paper Pendants – Serena & Lily
Snowball Curtain – Cox & Cox

THE DRINKS
Boozy White Hot Chocolate – The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz – The Messy Baker Blog
Spiced Sparkling Cider – The Best Remedy
Mocha Coffee Punch – She Wears Many Hats
Peppermint Eggnog Milkshake – The Merrythought
Pink Peppermint Russian – Kleinworth & Co

THE PIECES
Arrow Forks – Sucre Shop
Be Merry! Cheese Board – C. Wonder
Gold Foil Cocktail Napkins – C. Wonder
Heath Serving Platter – Canoe
Hot Drinks Glass – Create & Barrel
Leopold Coupe Glass – Cocktail Kingdom
Mercer Burst Salad Plate – Crate & Barrel
Mingle Bar Glass – Crate & Barrel
Nico Platter – Crate & Barrel
Old Dutch Copper Tray – Overstock
Porcelain Serve Platter – Target
Wood Topped Ice Bucket – West Elm

THE APPETIZERS
Apple, Sweet Potato + Bacon Turnovers – Savory Simple
Baked Brie with Roasted Cranberry Sauce – A Couple Cooks
Cranberry Crostini – Cookie and Kate
Lobster Crostini – What Katie Ate
Mini Caramel Apple Hand Pies – Freutcake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Phyllo Straws – Rachel Cooks
Pomegranate Jeweled White Cheddar Cheeseball – How Sweet It Is
Cranberry Curd Tartlets – Martha Stewart
Zucchini Chips – Food Fanatic
Pumpkin Butter S’mores – Wit & Vinegar
Spinach Hummus + Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Quesadillas – 24 Carrot Life
Spiced Apple Chutney and Cinnamon Swirls – Great British Chefs

All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.
This is a sponsored post, thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!

Dec
12

My (Imaginary) Christmas 2013

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Seriously, don’t even worry about bringing anything because I’ve got it all covered! Longtime readers might remember last year’s dream Christmas dinner as the start of this extravagant/gluttonous series I create for most major holidays. And let me tell you, I should really throw make believe parties more often because they’re so much fun! This Christmas I decided to go with plenty of color and whimsy with a dash of nature and DIY thrown in to keep it real. Hope you can make it! (Links and sources at the end.)

 

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THE DECOR
Felt Ball Garland – The Fickle Felt Tree
DIY Himmeli Garland – The House That Lars Built
Paint Dipped Ornaments – Bomisch
Pine Cone Wreath – West Twin Creations
Plated Glass Votives – Serena & Lily
Still Life Taper Candles – Anthropologie
Town Square Sculptures – Anthropologie
Wire Sprinkle Line Lights – CB2
Wood Chain Kit – Sideshow Press

THE COCKTAILS
Cider Pomegranate Smash – Clara Persis
The Bourbon Épice – coco + kelley
Hot Buttered Hazelnut Whisky – Adventure in Cooking

THE APPS
Brie and Cranberry Bites –  Crumb
Sweet Potato Tahini Crostini – Love and Lemons
Whipped Ricotta with Lemon and Olive Oil – Joy the Baker

THE TABLE
Blush Champagne Coupes – Monique Lhuillier
Colonnes Stemware – Anthropologie
DIY Pie Crust Place Markers – You Are My Fave
Gold Napkin Ring Set – West Elm
Gold-Dipped Flatware – Anthropologie
Nomades Table Linen – Anthropologie
DIY Reversible Tree Flatware Mat – Confetti Pop
Silver Manzanita Candelabra – West Elm
Verge Dinnerware – Crate and Barrel

THE FOOD
Apple Herb Stuffing – Smitten Kitchen
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes – Nutrition Stripped
Cheddar Herb Baked Apples – JJ Begonia
Creamy Chive Potatoes – Annie’s Eats
Drunken Cranberry Sauce – The Speckled Palate
Hot Butter Bean Salad with Lemon – BBC Good Food
Kale Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Pecorino – Heather Christo
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onion, Brie, and Sage – Recipe Girl
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Parsley Dressing – Epicurious

THE DESSERTS
Caramel Apple Cake – Pinch of Yum
Gingerbread Coffee Cake with Ginger Cream – Dine & Dish
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche – Martha Stewart

Dec
10

DIY Holiday Gifts

Yesterday we talked food gifts, and today we’re talking handmade DIY presents. I don’t know about you, but I would  much rather receive something small with lots of thought put into it than something pricey that was an afterthought. It just means more knowing someone spent their time rather than their money. Here are fifteen gifts that would be perfect alone or partnered with one of our suggestions!

 

antler-monogrammed-door-mat-Lia-Griffith-Design-Crush

Pair with: a boot brush, a small rosemary bush for the porch.

 

bullet-horn-necklace-The-Merrythought-Design-Crush

Pair with: simple earrings, a pair of bangles.

 

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Pair with: a pretty brass bell, bottle brush trees.

 

geometric-tree-puzzle-A-Beautiful-Mess-Design-Crush

Pair with: a few vintage ornaments, homemade pomanders.

 

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Pair with: a soft pair of gloves or mittens, a silk scarf.

 

leather-cup-jacket-Design-Sponge-Design-Crush

Pair with: hot toddy ingredients, a set of mason jars.

 

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Pair with: a set of mugs, mulling spices.

 

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Pair with: soup mix, a vintage pot.

 

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Pair with: gourmet hot chocolate, homemade cookies.

 

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Pair with: crackers and cheese, pretty cocktail plates.

 

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Pair with: letterpress place cards, a set of linen napkins.

 

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Pair with: a candle snuffer, a nice box of matches.

 

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Pair with: a bottle of nail polish, a pair of sunglasses.

 

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Pair with: a cozy scarf or blanket, a favorite board game.

 

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Pair with: an iTunes gift card, screen cleaner.

Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Nov
19

Tips&Tricks: Entertaining

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Ready or not the holidays are just around the corner – that means digging out the good wine glasses, adding some festive decor to the house, and putting on your best hostess smile. Here are a few tips and tricks for entertaining that are sure to make any get together a little bit easier and a lot more impressive!

How much food and drink to serve at a party.

How to make a box cake taste homemade.

Great tips for throwing a shindig.

Secrets to making the best cocktail.

Five recipes for big batches of party cocktails.

Tips and tricks for hosting a cocktail party.

An entertaining guide for wine and cheese.

Choosing the best ice for cocktails.

How to stock a home bar.

How to make the perfect cheese plate.

Nov
18

November DIYs

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Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Nov
15

Happy Weekend

1-Design Crush

2-Design Crush

3-Design Crush

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01/ Last Supper, notebook illustrations of characters sitting down for a meal.
02/ The Gooyesh Language Institute in Iran is made entirely of letters!
03/ Door to Hell is an aptly named crater in Turkmenistan that’s been burning for 40 years.
04/ The super expressive face of Jazzy the border collie.
05/ The art of smoke bombs and fireworks.
06/ Athlete compares the vastly different body types of Olympic athletes.
07/ Sad/creepy abandoned Santa parks of the world.
08/ Bring the beach indoors with this incredible surfboard table and benches!
09/ A super fun play net creates a kids’ reading level in a library.
10/ Party cheat sheets full of infographics for holiday event planning.

This week on Design Crush:
Listen to November’s Mix #30: I’m Waiting Here.
Plenty of 2014 calendars for you to choose from in Part 2 + Part 3 of our roundups.
Get a head start on your holiday entertaining with this fantastic giveaway from B by Brandie!
Sweater weather is here and we’ve shared 12 of our favorites.
I’m not hosting this year, but here’s my imaginary Thanksgiving 2013!
These Leaf Rugs also double as blankets.
Crazy layered acrylic paintings from Yago Hortal.
It’s time to think about advent calendar prep – here are 14 that are great!

Nov
13

My (Imaginary) Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 13-Header-Design Crush

 

I’m a planner by nature. As a 10 year old I drew floor plans for fun and throughout school rewrote notes to relax. NERD ALERT! Now I love that planning is a part of running Design Crush, and there’s not much I love more than planning a good dinner party – real or imagined! (You can see Thanksgiving 2012 right here.)

 

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THE COCKTAILS
Pomegranate + Blackberry Lemondrop
Spiced Amaretto Apple Cider Kiss
Satsuma and Pomegranate Campari

THE APPS
Oven Baked Camembert with Honey Roasted Figs
Zucchini Chips
Sweet Onion Crack Dip

THE DECOR
Colossal Golden Wishbone
DIY Laurel Wreath
Mini Brass Square Candle Houses
Gold Glitter Garland
Solid Brass Coasters
Thanksgiving Banner

THE TABLE
Castle Peak Dinnerware
Arrow & Adobe Linen Napkins
Aueux Carving Set
Enchanted Ikat Table Runner
French Paddle
Graphic Pitcher
Industrial Inspired Metal Candle Holders
Mercury Glass Taper Holders
Metallic Print Glassware Set
Rose Gold Flatware
Rose Gold Salad Set
DIY Rosemary Wreath Place Cards

DINNER
Acorn Squash and Pancetta Soup
Autumn Arugula Salad
Caramelized Coconut Butter Apples
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes
Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey
Herbed Bread and Cherry Cranberry Stuffing
Honey Maple Beer Bread
Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts Slaw
Pumpkin Sage Polenta

DESSERT
Greek Style Pumpkin Pie
Honey & Whiskey Apple Tarts
Maple Pudding Cakes

Nov
12

B by Brandie (+ a Giveaway)

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This morning I’m excited to share a brand spankin’ new line of home accessories with you – the site just went live today! B for Brandie is out to add a dash of fashion to the table in a very chic way. Fresh colors, sophisticated patterns and contemporary designs abound in their debut collection that features dinnerware, flatware, glassware, placemats and napkins. The best part is that it’s all made to be mixed and matched, bringing a very personal touch each and every time you gather around the table. Perfect with the holidays being just around the corner and entertainment being taken up a necessary notch.

 

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To get those wintery dinner party juices flowing, one of you has the chance to win two of these brilliant blue-themed place settings along with a pair of Olivia Champagne Wine Combo Glasses (my favorite!)! Each setting from B for Brandie includes an Astor Charger Plate in grayVanderbilt Dinner Plate in navyTruman Dessert/Salad Plate in turquoise, and a Truman Bowl in navy as well as a set of Olivia Champagne Wine Combo Glasses that can be used as wine or champagne glasses with a flip!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
Congratulations, Brittany!

To Enter:
1. Leave a comment below telling us your favorite entertaining secret.
2. Like B by Brandie on Facebook.
3. Leave a valid email address in the form (for notification purposes).
4. Do it all before Sunday, November 17th at 11:59pm CST.

Giveaway Rules + Disclosures

Oct
21

10 October DIYs

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Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.