The Ultimate Valentine’s Brunch

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I could pretty much eat it for every meal with all the savory and sweet offerings. So celebrating Valentine’s with my loved ones with a celebratory brunch seems like the best way to show them how much I adore them! Here are my perfect details with my sample menu:

ValentinesBrunch

Ina Garten’s French toast bread pudding recipe is for the sweet lovers

Mario Batali’s Chorizo and Monchego strata recipe is for those that want to start with a savory treat

Valentine’s tablecloth, Sears, $62

Flower burst mug, Tenereze, just $8.40 through Valentine’s Day!

Foil dot napkins, Anthropologie, $24

A luscious red velvet cake, Williams-Sonoma, $70 *You could make one yourself too!

Personalized cylinder toasting flutes, set of 2, Tenereze, $25

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The Sweetest Valentine’s Gifts + Activities for Kids

One of my favorite holidays when I was a kid was Valentine’s Day. I relished writing out each person’s name and dropping them in the little makeshift “mailboxes” we made for the special day. I excluded no one (that would be cruel!) and adored getting little hearts and treats in return. What better way to encourage acceptance, love and friendship with a kid than through Valentine’s Day? I don’t see any reason to fret or feel left out – ever.

I love making Valentines with my niece and I always get her a little treat to celebrate the day. Here are some of my top picks!

bubble-gum-machine-pillowTotally custom! Bubble Gum Machine Pillow, on sale now for $18.90

mla102749_0207_candy_bag_xlWe love custom projects. Include a cute photo of your little ones and make a sweet custom tag for candy-giving.

Valentine-heart-cookies-5Help them make something sweet like these iced heart cookies from Cake Journal

Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 10.22.35 PMChocolate hearts from Dylan’s Candy Bar, $18

frames_horizontal_vday2I Love You frame, on sale now for $16.80 (and it’s made in the USA!)

1Let them pick an adorable Valentine’s Day card from Tiny Prints or make your own!

Late Night Treat | Take Home Favor : Wedding Cookies

For our wedding day favor, instead of a keepsake, we gave away bags of freshly baked cookies tied to cartons of milk. Our guests absolutely gushed about it after all the dancing. It was a favor that was much appreciated and totally hit the spot. I’ve gathered up some of my favorite takes on baked goodies in different themes. Enjoy!

The look of homemade-ness is totally irresistible although I’m more of a regular milk kinda gal!

Cookies-and-Milk-Wedding-FavorsPhoto via One to Wed

The pretty dove and bunny are almost too sweet to eat!

dove-and-bunny-rabbit-ivory-and-gold-iced-biscuits-1-LRPhoto via Julia Stallwood Cakes

I adore the (edible) handwritten quality with the bright monogram. So chic!

_DSC0970_184Photo via Haniela’s

Play up the romance with an engagement ring cookie.

5868307400Image via Sweet Kiera

A macaroon package of coordinating colors – love it!

120189883776642274_yL2uH4fpImage via Pinterest

A Yummy DIY for Valentine’s : Creamy Fudge Hearts

I love to cook and I love to craft. So this DIY is the perfect combination project for Valentine’s Day or a wedding favor. Creamy Fudge Hearts are easy to make and look so pretty in a variety of packaging with your colors and themes. See the full instructions via Martha Stewart Weddings.

And Happy Friday, everyone!

candy_01394_xlImage via Martha Stewart

favorboxesFavor box kit includes 20 boxes with coordinating ribbon, $25 for 20

10-1815Sweet little dots for a unique favor box, $9 for

12407450With a large sheet of paper, cut long strips the width of your favor box to size and fold over fudge hearts. Voila! Pretty white blossom paper to line the boxes, $8 per sheet

Must-have for the New Year : Monogram Glassware

How was your Christmas? I hope everyone got what they wanted. All I really wanted was snow and some time with the family – and that’s exactly what I got! Now we’re looking to New Year’s and a night in with our closest friends. I’ll be pulling out the monogram glassware to impress the guests 🙂 What are your New Year’s plans?

a91037Custom pint glass set, $20 for 4

a91039Red wine glass set, $34 for 4

Glimpse Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s Wedding Photos with Glimpse of Marchesa Dress

They got married months ago but we’re just now seeing glimpses of the nuptials between newlyweds Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. This was my prediction months ago.

blakeryan3This is more what it was really like including a glimpse of her couture Marchesa gown.

blake-lively-ryan-reynolds-wedding-inlineblake-lively-ryan-reynolds-wedding-desserts-inlineQuite down home and delightful, don’t you think? There were definitely lots of rose and gold details so I wasn’t far off the mark about that! I can’t wait to see more.

Got Milk? Three Holiday Cookie Recipes I *Have* to Try

Every Christmas, my aunt from Iowa sends a beautiful fruit cake and/or cookies. It’s something that I look forward to all year. From the powdered melt-in-your-mouth chocolate pinwheels to the buttery pecan half moon delights, I don’t know what’s my favorite. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I don’t dare ask for the recipe though, because I’ll never be able to live up to it. But a girl can dream. And eat lots of cookies in the meanwhile. Here are three that I’m going to try. Happy baking!

gingerbread-cookies-473-mld108759_vertA variation on a good thing, Gingerbread iced cookies via Martha Stewart

RX-JIF_Chocolate-Hazelnut-Peanut-Butter-Pinwheel-Cookies_s4x3_lgThey use JIF peanut butter, perhaps a plug? Chocolate hazelnut pinwheels via Food Network

29089_chocolate_crinkle_cookies_3_620This looks simply decadent! Chocolate crinkle cookie via Chow

Do You Know What You’re Serving at Your Bar? Signature Drink Choices

There’s nothing like having a signature drink at your wedding. It saves on the bar bill and your guests will love trying your favorite concoction.

img_gathertogetherlg_5Lavender and blueberry goodness via Country Home

signature drinksMultiple signature choices via Rustic Wedding Chic

white-wine-spritzer-signature-cocktailWhite wine spritzer via One Hitched Lane

Check out this booze list from Brooklyn Bride’s guide of liquors for some fun and small label choices. What’s your custom cocktail going to be?

boozybrooklyn

#MuseMonday : Fun Favor Ideas

I sat around for most of the evening preparing favors for my guests at an upcoming party. I collected all my favorite Asian snacks and treats from childhood including Pocky sticks, cute little stick crackers dipped in such delectable things as chocolate, strawberry and even savory salad dressing flavors. I attached cute little cards to them and they’ll double as place cards. 

Here are some other great favor ideas.

Monogram bud vases look lovely with a small bud.

You can get them personalized too!

Fill little pots with candy and label with a chalkboard tag

Thanksgiving Entertaining Like a Pro : Four No-Fail Tips

Place things out for your guests to explore. That makes them feel comfortable and more apt to mingle. Chips and dip or a self-serve bar are easy to do on a tray. West Elm, lacquer tray, $32 Beer flight, personalization available, $49

Make things in advance and wrap them in the bowls they’re going to reheat in. Ovenware products like Le Creuset go from fridge to oven and serve mismatch beautifully.

Easier than keeping flowers alive and pretty enough to eat, place pumpkins or other hearty fruits and vegetables that can double as centerpieces, and later be used for tasty dishes. Pumpkins via The Party Dress

If you’re having more than a handful of people over, doing a seating chart can really help the conversation flow of the evening. You’ll be able to relax more, knowing that your shy cousin isn’t getting bowled over by a boisterous coworker.