I love that the act of Christmas decorating is sort of a design unifier. It doesn't matter if you're the Martha of your friend group or have no clue about Pantone and how it's been predicting your color preferences since forever. Everyone joins in on this one. Year after year those dusty boxes of stored ornaments and half-working strands of lights are dutifully (hopefully dotingly too) carried upstairs and devotedly dangled and restrung - unpacking memories, traditions, and a delight in participating in the thrill and excitement of the season.Read More
The halls were decked just in time to host the second annual Friendsmas last weekend (blogpost forthcoming). While most people spend the days leading up to a party planning menus, shopping for supplies, and cleaning, I, instead, spent all my time on the Christmas decos. Priorities.
Once again, I was highly influenced by my pink living room. Though I feel the need to remind everyone that until very recently I was not a "pink girl." It's more likely that my unbridled usage has more to do with the irreverent nature of boldly embracing a color with such strong gender and personality connotations - one that could even potentially be characterized as polarizing. This is how I'm justifying it to myself, at least.
Finding a 7ft hot pink Christmas tree at Goodwill really solidified the vision. Ladies and Gentlemen meet Fir Elton John.
I love that after six years of married cohabiting this is our first full-sized Christmas tree. I'm not thrilled about the placement. The bay window is where he belongs, alas, I'm once again thwarted by having two sofas in the same room. I really contemplated trying to lug one upstairs, but eventually succumbed to reason. It is only a short season after all.
To fill the void in the bay window I compiled and strung all of the festive materials in my possession. It's a little nod to last year's garland with the addition of some decorations from previous holiday installations at work. Luke says it looks like a mess. I say it's whimsical.
Here's the mantel all done up. I just added in a few thrifted items to update it from its everyday look. And I'm obsessed with those glass boots! They're actually old Avon men's cologne bottles which I think is so hilariously weird. The gold trees have been making Christmas decor appearances for a few years and the extra large glam ornaments, a more recent acquisition, I'm sure will too.
Even the entry got a modest update to accommodate some holiday cheer. Honestly, the cardboard frame I made for around the mirror fell a long time ago; and it took me this long to remove the ugly dorm room mirror and do something new with the space. It's all part of this super fun game I play, completely dictated by whim, wherein I decide I simply must change/update/move ____________, but the catch is I can't spend money. Wait, let's be real, it has little to do with spending money and everything to do with not wanting to leave the house. So I root around looking for items to move from their current location to a new and better location. It's very fun!
Ready for some more secrets? When I took these photos of my dining room it was just after Friendsmas and everything was still set up. Because I didn't get any good pictures of the refreshments at the party I'm not embarrassed to admit (though maybe I should be) I made a faux punch comprised of water and juice. I even made another ice ring the night before to drop in the punch bowl... I sort of feel like these should be black and white with the word "re-enactment" at the bottom. And, yes, yes, that is a beautiful brass ice bucket I'm very pleased with.
I kept the decor simple in the dining room and focused the color palate on silver and gold and pops of orange. Some dollar store garland, bowls of silver ornaments, and a lot of candles were all it took. Oh yeah, and that white wreathe I made a few years ago from cardboard, strips of lace and white muslin - another on a whim project.
So there it is - Christmas decor 2014 edition!
Thirty happened. And we celebrated by throwing a New Wave/80s Bash.
I've mentioned this before, but despite being cripplingly aware of my social inadequacies I LOVE TO PARTY. It's this weird anomaly, I know, but I'm privileged to have a group of girlfriends who, too, love to turn any and all activities into an excuse to get festive. Themed parties, well they're sort of our pièce de résistance.
I don't know when it started, but my affinity for 80s style has been longstanding. There's just something about that airbrushed, neon, edginess that has always captured me. I've spent the better part of my adulthood attempting to walk the line between full on 80s excess and contemporary fashion. Then there's the infectious synth pop. I just can't get enough.
My aforementioned compatriots don't reciprocate my affection for the decade, but they do love me. This is how, with much reticence, the idea of an 80s-themed 30th birthday bash was posed. I was instantly excited, but wary of using the "80s-theme" label because I didn't want people mistakenly assuming this was a leg-warmer, srunchie, puffy-paint shin-dig. Rather, the vision was gritty NYC dance clubs of the late 70s/early 80s pumping out New Order and other quintessential synth-based glory. A New Wave fête. (Don't worry, the pretentiousness of that statement is not lost on me). As the planning progressed, however, it was evident that having no access to an old warehouse or exposed brick walls meant a shift in vision was necessary. Thus, we landed somewhere between New Wave and 80s Prom – basically the John Hughes Indie world of my dreams.
The girls hosted at their spacious pad and crafted a drink menu focused on incredible punch-bowl cocktails. I did decos and went overboard of course.
Luke killed it with the playlist. Like the kind of playlist where every other song prompted an unbridled "I LOVE THIS SONG!" declaration and a rush back out to the makeshift dance floor.
Thank you friends for celebrating with me! Thank you Bethany for capturing such amazing candids. Thank you Laurel, Glenna, Kat, and Adrienne for my favorite birthday to date.
I turned 29 and threw myself a party. The backstory is this: I love party-planning, prepping and general over-the-top celebrating. I'd also spent the last two months toiling to turn my dilapidated backyard into usable terrain. Naturally, I wanted to parade my efforts.Read More