Buying our tree yesterday at Home Depot
Hooray December is here!
Tree is in our living room and we’ve finished the majority of our holiday shopping. This really is our favorite time of year, so festive!
We found a great advent calendar at Target this weekend. It fits perfectly with our decor! It’s our first ever advent calendar. Last year my husband wanted 25 days of beer and I said “uh…no”.
On our long drive back from LA, we came up with 25 activities to do from now until Christmas day. Some are traditions and others things we’ve always wanted to try and never committed. So here we go, our daily holiday to do list. We’ve got one down, twenty four more to go :)
Decorate Christmas tree
- Go ice skating
- Make egg nog from scratch
- Bake Norwegian butter cookies
- Gift wrapping party with cocktails
- Build a gingerbread house
- Watch Love Actually
- Find an elf
- Watch Elf, my husband loves this movie
- See the Rockefeller tree during work trip in NY
- Get a real nutcracker
- Kiss underneath mistletoe
- Find our annual ornament
- Make a traditional ham
- Brew a holiday beer
- Make a wreath
- See a holiday show
- Take a corny holiday photo
- Play Christmas music for a whole day
- Peppermint day, enjoy all things minty
- Hot chocolate in Ghiradelli square
- Dress Sprinkles, our yorkie, in a holiday costume
- Tour a neighborhood with great lights
- Watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
- Christmas shopping downtown
I’m arranging all the ideas onto little card stock cutouts then placing in the calendar. Each morning will open the little door and find the day’s activity. So exciting!
And little Sprinkles can’t wait to try on her holiday costume. For now a holiday bow will do….
Need a last minute idea for Thanksgiving! For our fall party earlier this month, we created a super easy photo backdrop. A quick trip to Paper Source and one evening of crafting was all it took to provide a fun activity for our guests. And if you’ve seen the holiday Target commercials, this is a perfect way to mimic!
Easiest option for a photo backdrop? Wrapping paper! It’s inexpensive compared to wall paper or professional photo paper. I bought six sheets of paper with a wood background. You can also buy a roll of paper if the design is available. And that’s it. Simply tape the paper to your wall during the party and you have a simple backdrop!
Now if you have a little bit more time, add another dimension to the backdrop. I found foam fall leaves at Target for $5 and pulled out my sewing machine. In less than 20 minutes, I completed six garlands of leaves to hang on top of the wrapping paper. You can sew together any festive shapes made from foam, paper, or fabric. Tons of fall craft supplies are on sale this week, so you’ll definitely find something to hang.
People always seem to let loose behind a disguise. Masks, glasses, mustaches, hats and many more random accessories or costumes lying around your home are perfect props. I picked a set of adorable DIY masks from Paper Source. The kit has everything you need. I only made four out of eight masks to save time. Just set aside a couple hours to cut out and assemble.
And there you have it, a festive woodland themed photo-booth for dinner guests to enjoy. We even added a few pieces of real wood for kicks. Place a camera near the photo station and even make up a hashtag for tagging on social media. A great way to ensure you actually have photo memories of your party!
Hooray it’s Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful week and are excited for the weekend. I’m sure many of you are prepping for Thanksgiving cooking or traveling. We’re heading down to LA for a few days and I can’t wait for the warmer weather. SF has been quite cold and rainy this week!
If you need some inspiration for entertaining bounce on over to Best Friends for Frosting. My husband and I hosted a fall party and it’s been featured on the site! We had so much fun decorating, cooking and brewing our own beer and cider. We were happy our friends could attend and enjoy the Sunday afternoon in our home. Thank you so much Nanette for photographing and Ana for helping set up!
And yes, I made a photo booth with animal masks :)
I think you can tell a lot about someone judging by the animal they pick! Continue reading
Wood Pedestal // Striped Scarf // Monogramed Book // Pink Mixer // Darling Magazine
You all know how much I love to shop! And as always, I like to round up my favorite products and share with my lovely readers.
The wood pedestal from World Market is my new favorite table decor. Originally purchased for a party, we know keep the rustic stand on our dining table permanently.
My new favorite scarf from Gap doubles a warm shawl at work. Perfect if sit near a window or air conditioning unit like me. Plus it comes in beautiful color combinations, like this pink and blue version above.
I’ve waited too long to put something monogrammed in our home. But, I finally found something I love and ties nicely with our decor. My love “S” graces the top of my book collection in our living room.
The pink Kitchen Aid mixer. It’s really my pride and joy! Although not new to our home, it is absolutely my favorite item in our home. I am a baker and it makes whipping up French pastries so much easier. I was finally able to perfect my macarons with this!
Darling Magazine is my new favorite read on the ferry to work. I love the inspirational stories inside each issue. And, I love the different personalities for each chapter. I’m definitely a mix of The Hostess and The Achiever. Each month I download the digital version to my iPad for just $5!
Do you own any of these products or have great finds from recent shopping? I’d love to hear!
If I Were Single, is back! For those of you that are new, I find all the beautiful feminine decor I wish I could have if I lived alone or with girlfriends. Check out my past post on kitchens and bedrooms!
We’re in the process of redesigning/finishing our dining room. There’s a new table and I’m constantly looking for ideas in terms of patterns and colors schemes. Being the girly-girl that I am, I naturally lean towards pastels, whites and frilly accents. But, poor Mr. Planning Pretty would be quite uncomfortable in many of these spaces. Don’t get me wrong, he’s fairly okay with all the feminine accents I bring in. I just chose to protect his sanity and be fair :)
I love flowers and would place floral patterns everywhere if possible. I love the decor on this dining room, bright colors mixed with pastels, tons of fresh flowers and the linens of course. Now I could easily get away with this around Easter or in spring, but year round? Not likely. The plus side, this style can be toned down to something more gender neutral. Maybe take a way the linens for a solid blue or green. Add a few masculine elements like wood, stone and a dark accent.
French bistro inspired dining room with chairs from Dreamy Whites
This French bistro inspired dining room isn’t overly feminine. What makes the space feel a little too dainty are the soft colors and white palette. Painting the walls a richer color would help tone down the girly-ness, but hey maybe I could get away with it! This isn’t too far off from our living room design. Continue reading
Whew! The week is over and I am ready for the weekend. We’re going to the movies, a film festival, dinner with friends and some much needed down time. It’s nice to have normal weekends every now and then :)
I’ve done a lot of exploring this week online and found a ton of wonderful ideas to share with all of you. I’ve been pinning up a storm this week!
Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen is one of my favorite food/lifestyle bloggers. I have her Pancakes cookbook and we use it all the time. I love her idea above for customizing napkins!
Joelle of Something Charming style this amazing fall table! I love the bright flowers and the glass pomegranates at each place setting. And of course the gold flatware, high on my wish list!
I have been meaning to try this style frosting for months now. The technique itself doesn’t scare me, more setting aside the time to do it. Sweetapolita is such a pro and I love this blackberry and mascarpone cake she’s created.
I met Sarah of A House in the Hills a few weeks ago and she is the sweetest person ever! She has amazing style and this photo of her home in Palm Springs proves my point. I swear she’s makes home decorating and style look so easy.
And congrats to my Nanette on another amazing recipe featured on Sugar & Cloth. I mean hot chocolate bread, what?! This recipe is getting test asap!
I love getting to share recipes and decor. It all ties back to hostessing for me, and it’s definitely something I’m working on sharing more here on Planning Pretty.
Have a wonderful weekend! Relax, get ahead on reading, catch up on TV or start planning for the holidays. I already have Christmas on my mind :)
While at Alt SF this year, I met the very talented Mindy Cone of Creative Juice. She has the most adorable party ideas and is known for her perfect macarons. So much, that she has a new cookbook out!
Gourmet French Macarons is a beautifully designed book and the recipes are easy to follow whether you’re a macaron expert or beginner. Mindy has classic macarons recipes and then super creative and festive designs. You’ll learn everything from the basic steps to making macarons piped into adorable shapes. My favorites are the ice cream cones and apples!
I tested out her chocolate macaron recipe for a party last week and they were delicious! Now my oven was a little silly and shells stayed chewy, but that’s the beauty of French macarons. Even if they don’t bake perfectly or crack, they taste amazing! Mindy really developed a wonderful recipe. Try it out yourself! Continue reading