Category / Celebrations

Oscar Party 2014: The Color Scheme

OscarScheme2014

I was prepared to settle in for a long session of color scheme perusing for my 4th annual Oscar party…but after mentioning to my co-worker that I was planning to, she immediately called it — “you should use the Pantone color of the year!”. Of COURSE! I’ve had my heart set on incorporating some black and white this year, and certainly there needs to be some glitzy statue gold mixed in, but the front runner color of the theme will be Radiant Orchid! It seems everywhere I look this year, I can find mint colored supplies (but had to search high and low this time last year when it was part of my 2013 scheme)…I’m thinking this year will be the same story — let the hunt for orchid party supplies begin! ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo credits: I struck out tracking down original sources of many of these images — please let me know if you know where credit is due! Striped Oscar bags: studiodiy.com; Champagne + black-white runner: http://shelterinteriordesign.blogspot.com/; paper fan: lunabazaar.com.

New Years Eve Tablescape (and my favorite cocktail!)

New Years Eve dinner www.29thanddelight.com

I am a HUGE fan of New Years. I love the idea of fresh starts, hitting the reset button, and of course…it’s a reason to celebrate!

The only new things I bought for this look were the “Auld Lang Syne” banner and a 12 ft. strand of tinsel garland from Target — I love how lush this garland is and that it has both silver and gold intertwined. It adds some fun texture along the sequined runner. At the very *end* of photographing, I decided on a whim to add some gold washi tape on the white frosted candle holders…so yes, it only shows up in the first picture, but you get the gist! ๐Ÿ˜‰

New Years Eve tablescape www.29thanddelight.com

I love to plan a tablescape and thinking about our New Years Eve dinner in this year with good friends (and some delicious surf ‘n’ turf) has been no exception. Thanks to some fun paper elements from the “Midnight Magic” collection from Tiny Prints to pull it all together, I love the way this turned out. The invitation sets the tone for a festive evening and the labels adhered to some gold cardstock wish each guest a happy 2014.

New Years Eve tablescape www.29thanddelight.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.29thanddelight.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.29thanddelight.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.29thanddelight.com

No get-together is complete without a great cocktail (and no New Years celebration is legit without champagne!). One of my very favorite cocktails is the oh-so-simple but delightfully festive “Pom Pop” – champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice, and garnished with a few pomegranate arils.

Pom Pop cocktail: champagne + pomegranate | www.29thanddelight.com

Cheers to a fabulous 2014!

New Years Eve tablescape www.29thanddelight.com

Deck the Halls 2013

Deck the Halls | 29thanddelight.comYou can ask Page — I’ve been on a roller coaster with decorating for the holidays this year. I think that coming off a Fall in which I felt like I was working two full time jobs, I was just worn out…and everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary felt like too much work. Also – ย is it just me, or with Thanksgiving so late this year, does the Christmas season feels even more brief?? And maybe it’s that end-of-the-year thing, but I suddenly felt like we were drowning in STUFF and we have spaces everywhere that need to be organized, not cluttered with decorations. (Are you starting to hum the theme to The Grinch yet? :)) So when it was time to deck the halls, I went into it a bit, well, half-hearted (but spoiler alert, Christmas always gets the best of me and I got more into it as I went!)

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

I started with hauling out the red and green tubs and sorting through everything. I think my tastes have changed a bit this last year, and while I still love some of my more Pottery Barn-esque traditional decor, I wanted to mix it up with some more modern stuff as well and ended up donating several items to Goodwill or just leaving stuff packed away for another year. This was also finally the year I got rid of the last bits of glitter — it’s such a mess to clean up and gets on everything. Anything glittered remaining in my stash (with the exception of two ornaments I can’t part with) went out the door. And suddenly, having a smaller assortment of decor made the task of decorating the house more manageable (and less messy!) and I could get more excited. (A couple purchases from CB2 and Target didn’t hurt, either!)

IMG_3356web

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

I also decided to change it up and with a finished basement to deck this year, I opted to NOT put up a tree on the main level. Our main tree really IS too large for our 8′ ceilings (we sawed off the bottom – SERIOUSLY – when we bought this house, since the 9.5 footer originally set up camp in our lofted-ceiling townhouse). Last year I squished a bow on the top and made it work, but with the way the furniture was arranged this year, and having the skinny sequin tree to work with, I opted to pass up a traditional tree in here altogether.

Deck the Halls www.29thanddelight.com

I’ve had moments where I wonder if I miss it, but then again, I like that it feels more open than last year…and I’ve still worked in plenty of lights around the room to get the same “glow” effect of a tree….

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

This CB2 wreath was a favorite purchase this year — although be warned, it’s harder to put together than you might think! I noticed when it arrived there is no back to it – and other reviewers on their site mentioned the same thing. So using a combination of netting garland and some strings of lights, I tried to “wind” in a bunch of ornaments (also FYI – you need BIG ornaments for this, the “regular” sized ones fall right through the front) and used a couple nails to tack it all down so it didn’t expand away from the wall. I’m sure I’ll have better, more experienced, luck with it next year, but for now, I love it!

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

Even if we don’t have a fancy holiday meal this month, I still love the look of a set table at Christmastime. These boxwood wreaths are one of the more traditional elements I just love to get out each year.

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

This felt rag wreath was an EASY impromptu project the other night – and is perfect to hang on the pantry door. (Separate how-to post to come!)

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

We missed the warm weather window for stringing lights on the house – but I did manage to get the outdoor wreaths up…

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

…and some garland over the door.

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

The potted tree that was out here last year was on its last leg at the time and we ended up pitching it after the holiday season. In its place, I wanted something different this year – a planter I had on hand, some birch branches I scored this summer, and retro lights wrapped around them made for an easy replacement that didn’t cost me a dime. “Holla!” from our home to yours this Christmas season… ๐Ÿ˜‰

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

Heading downstairs, I set up another Target sequin tree (LOVE how simple these are – and the price is right!) and hung up an Ikea lighted wreath (wreath #7 or 8, if you’re counting at this point!) on the wall across from the bar.

deck the halls www.29thanddelight.com

Page and I have jokingly dubbed our evolving house style as “mod lodge”. We are going more and more modern with our taste, but with a lodgey comfortable feeling. With this idea in mind, it seemed only fitting that we deck the deer and add some antlered stocking holders to the mix.

Page and I have jokingly dubbed our evolving decorating style as "mod lodge". We are going more and more modern with our taste, but with a lodgey comfortable feeling. With this idea in mind, it seemed only fitting that we deck the deer and add some antlered stocking holders to the mix.

I unpacked the white tree (usually in my office) to find it all yellowed (boo!) so in the eleventh hour of Black Friday, I braved the crowds to find a replacement. The ceilings are low in our basement, so it didn’t need to be anything crazy large, and I really wanted the look of a white tree – at least for this year. I filled in with some silver stuff, but otherwise went with grey and chartreuse ornaments. (PS – we call the above photo “adventures in creative cropping”…as there were no less than six bulldozers in my backyard today, photobombing all my pictures!)

Page and I have jokingly dubbed our evolving decorating style as "mod lodge". We are going more and more modern with our taste, but with a lodgey comfortable feeling. With this idea in mind, it seemed only fitting that we deck the deer and add some antlered stocking holders to the mix.

Page and I have jokingly dubbed our evolving decorating style as "mod lodge". We are going more and more modern with our taste, but with a lodgey comfortable feeling. With this idea in mind, it seemed only fitting that we deck the deer and add some antlered stocking holders to the mix.

I’ll have to shoot the above again at night to get the real effect – but I am loving these teeny wired lights that don’t get hot (Amazon and Restoration Hardware both sell them)…I feel like Buddy the Elf, but I am calling this my jar of Christmas Spirit! ๐Ÿ™‚

I set up my small tinsel tree with the 2007 to 2013 ornament frames in my office, but otherwise didn’t decorate upstairs this year. I feel okay about it – none of our family is coming our way this year for the season, and any visitors we have usually don’t make it upstairs anyway. Hope you are enjoying bringing the holidays into your own home — thanks for stopping by to take a peek!

Set the Table: Easter Brunch

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

I’m excited to start a new little series of posts here on the blog –> “Set The Table”. I love studying tablescapes from the cleanest and simplest to the most glamorous and elaborate. There really is an art to a well set table that doesn’t feel too cluttered nor too bare for the occasion. No matter the level of complexity, I am all about using items I have on hand, mixing and matching to get the most mileage out of my stuff, and coming up with something fresh each time.

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

After my bestie picked up a couple of these aqua Ikea runners I’d been eyeing, I wanted to pull an Easter brunch scheme together around them! I feel like brunches can get a little stuff and overdone, when really, it should be about being relaxed, enjoying a leisurely weekend morning chatting and eating with friends and family.

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

I tried to keep the vibe casual by not using a tablecloth, and keeping silverware only to a single fork, which I laid IN the bowls for something different and less formal. I like using these shorter (55″) runners horizontally to double as place mats for each setting. I mixed some chargers I’ve had forever with our everyday dishes and some acrylic glasses I’d spied at TJ Maxx earlier this month (in the color of the year, no less!) and some cloth napkins from Target that I bought solely because they had all the colors of my new scheme for this main area of our house and I couldn’t walk away from them. A vase I had on hand and some sticks from the yard make a very simple centerpiece. The only new item for this setting was the $1 package of Peeps that I stuck on coffee stirrers and popped into each glass. The lemons were in the fridge anyway. Groceries serving double duty as decor – love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

Ironically after creating a table set for four, it will be just the two of us this year for Easter – but I’m so looking forward to a relaxing morning to ourselves. Hope you enjoy your Sunday, wherever you’re spending it!

 

Oscar Party 2013

Oscar Party 2013

This year marked my third annual Oscar party. I can’t get enough of the Oscars – I love the dresses, the celebrity gossip, and the celebration of great film making. I also love ANY excuse to have a party!

recycled frappucino bottles | life in yellow

Of course, I busted out my recycled frapucino bottles….

hydrangeas | life in yellow

Whole Foods has one of my favorite selections for reasonably-priced, beautiful blooms. It’s just not a party without fresh flowers on the table.

Oscar Bingo | life in yellow

A little friendly competition thanks to these great bingo cards from How About Orange!

mint and gold oscar party | life in yellow

I had my little painted utensils on hand for cupcake-eating assistance.

popcorn buffet oscar party | life in yellow

And it’s never an Oscar party without popcorn (and some yummy mix-ins!).

confetti garland | life in yellow

I loved the way my Glitter + Grain garland looked draped in our light fixture. It instantly felt like a fancy pants chandelier!

mint and gold oscar party | life in yellow

It was a happy accident stumbling on these mint oreos. Easy peasy, and who doesn’t love an Oreo?

mint + gold oscar party | life in yellow

The spread….

green punch | life in yellow

And some green punch to match:

1 part blue Hawaiian punch
1 part pineapple juice
2 parts Sprite Zero

These are delicious with some champagne splashed in!

Oscar fondue | life in yellow

Of course, Oscar was on hand, overseeing the fondue…

cheese fondue | life in yellow

Apples, bread, broccoli and cauli are some of my favorite dippers for cheese fondue. This night, I used Emeril’s recipe, but might cut back a tad on the amount of lemon juice it calls for.

papparazzi | life in yellow

And despite my poor guests being hassled by the paparazzi, I think the little get-together went off without a hitch! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

All In Chili Bar

chili bar | life in yellow

Pager’s birthday was this weekend, and while he originally planned a night out at the golf dome for some driving practice and snacks, like with a lot of other recent plans, his ACL tear has caused some changes. So golf night out….became poker night in!

chili bar | life in yellow

chili bar | life in yellow

I made myself scarce but not before helping him set up an “all in!” chili bar with the fixins. Page put his favorite chili recipe in the crock pot and I laid out every chili mix-in I could think of:

  • noodles
  • cornbread
  • sour cream
  • lime wedges
  • shredded cheese
  • crumbled bacon
  • sliced jalapenos
  • tomatoes
  • onion
  • corn chips
  • crackers

…..And you know it’s never a complete birthday without cake ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re never too old, even at 29, to have some army men in your cupcakes!

army men cupcakes | life in yellow

Happy birthday to my other half!! Glad you had a fun night – even if it WAS plan B!

poker night

holiday party snacks

December was my month to host book club. It’s my very favorite month to host because A) you’re guaranteed a good turn-out (no one ever misses the annual white elephant exchange) and B) the holiday decor and theme is so much fun to play with. Major photo-taking fail on my part (I only grabbed a couple) but hopefully the links below help you get the full picture.

I’m always on the hunt for new party food ideas that can work ANY time of year (and have been tried and loved by someone firsthand), but I included a couple the other night that were a bit more specific to the season. Here’s a rundown of the couple iPhone pics I managed to snap, and links to where I found the recipes – I would make all of these things again!

Cranberry Brie Bites – I loved how festive these looked! The red and green and the snow-like sugared cranberries made these so pretty to set out! Recipe can be found here. I love her entertaining/food mantra of, “we eat with our eyes first!”. Wise words!

cranberry brie bites

 

Crock Pot Hot Chocolateย – This might have been the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. And for good reason – condensed milk, 1% milk, and heavy cream…um yeah, this was thick and rich and amazing! Plus, I love anything that my Crock Pot can manage for me. I added some marshmallows on candy canes as stir sticks, and Bailey’s minis for those who wanted an extra stir-in. The recipe can be found here.

crock pot hot chocolate

Spinach and Cheese Croissants – I didn’t have time to get a pic of these, but there are some great ones if you follow the link to the original recipe here. These were a super-easy thing to prep ahead of time, and who doesn’t love a warm, flaky crescent roll?

Tortellini Skewers – I don’t have a link or a photo for these, because they’re so simple. I pre-cooked some cheese tortellini (the red and green kind to be festive!) and skewered them onto sticks with black and green olives, slices of pepperoni, and grape tomatoes. Another colorful red and green option for a holiday app!

Cranberry Water – Yet another photo fail, because this SIMPLE idea is so pretty! I used a clear beverage dispenser and filled it with water, added a splash of cranberry juice to tint it light pink, and floated a bag of cranberries on top. Instantly fancy and festive, but still refreshing and oh-so-simple.

Hope everyone is enjoying their last few days before the holiday…bon apetit!

Christmases past…

Christmases_Past

One of the many fun things about keeping a blog is the ability to go back over time and reference previous days, weeks, months, and eventually years. Sometimes I like to randomly look up what we were doing on this day a year ago, or go back and read a bunch of our “just married” stories.

In other cases, it’s fun to see things you tried (and either love or hate now), how your style has evolved, and what you’ve learned. This week for me, it’s been Christmas decorating. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was harder to get very “into” it when we had a shoestring budgetย and were renting so it didn’t quite feel like our home anyway, but it’s still fun and heartwarming to look back on the Christmases we’ve celebrated during our marriage and remember what “life” things were going on in the background, behind the photos.

2007 – Our first married Christmas. We were new to Des Moines and thrilled to be relocated from Chicago that summer in our first Des Moines apartment. We had actually moved from Charlotte, NC, to Chicago, to Des Moines all since the previous Christmas, so we were stoked to be staying in one spot for a bit.

2008 – A more stressful year, having lost my job in late October and working some ad-hoc jobs while searching for something more permanent. At the same time, Page was worried at the time about keeping his own employment status. Still in our first Des Moines apartment.

2009 – First Christmas in our townhouse. While we were still renting, this was a great move and we loved having a bit more space. It felt more like a house. I had found a home with a new employer by this year and Page was starting to get excited about making a move of his own, and fortunately on his own timing. In short, life was very good this particular year and we were more at ease about everything. This particular post made me realized Iย have improved my photog skills in recent years, just a tad! Ha!

2010 – I specifically remember not doing as much this year for decorating. We bought a new “main” tree and did it up, but I didn’t decorate any other rooms. This year was a busy one for us both with our freelance jobs on top of everything else, and I think there just wasn’t a lot of free time. After the first couple years of marriage involving one or the other being unemployed, we felt behind in our savings and we were in overdrive mode to save for a down payment, so we worked what felt like every waking moment. When there was a spare minute, we were completely lazy and wanted to do nothing but lay on the couches and stare at the one tree we DID manage to put up. We both had a hunch that this might be our last Christmas in a place that wasn’t “ours”. We had secretly made a goal to make 2011 “the year of the house”. We just barely squeezed in under the wire…

2011 – Just days after moving into our home (closing on the 1st and technically moving “in” on the 8th) we mustered the motivation to at least put up the tree and even hung a box of ornaments we were able to find among the piles. I’m so glad we did. I read this post now and I can sense how totally exhausted we were and just ready to be in a put-together house after a few months of not. I remember taking a lot of crap for our frustration haha – people told us just wait until you have kids and have to move! I can’t imagine. It was enough just being Type As that had to have it all unpacked, organized and decorated RIGHT NOW, working and running second jobs, and trying to squeeze in the handful of holiday parties and get-togethers on top of it all. There were lots of wee morning hours unpacking, catching a few shorts hours’ sleep, then going into the office. But we were so damn excited to be in our house and loved every minute of our non-traditional Christmas season that particular year.

It all makes me appreciate the calmness that has encircled us inย 2012. What a difference a year makes in having a little time and energy to plan ahead and enjoy the process of pulling this together. Already excited to plan the 2013 version of our house’s holiday decorations — next year it will include the basement! Woo hoo! ๐Ÿ™‚