Mani Monday: Coachella Nails

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Everybody needs some bling for Coachella this weekend, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. These super easy DIY musical nails are perfect for the festival and can be done right in your own home! All you need is blue nail polish and a white nail art pen. Follow these simple steps to the most rockin Coachella nails!

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Game of Thrones Premier Party: Themed Food Ideas

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It’s the most sacred time of the year!  No… not Easter. No… not Passover. YES…Game of Thrones!!!! I am beyond excited for the long awaited premier this Sunday. Of course, I invited everyone and their grandmother over to watch the big episode. I am sure many of you are doing the same and I wanted to give you some fun themed tasty tips for all your gatherings! Make labels for each dish so your guests can laugh along with you.

Red Wedding Sangria

acozykitchen.com

acozykitchen.com

I am still in shock over the Red Wedding episode so lets drown our sorrows in some yummy sangria! All you need are chopped oranges, apples, strawberries and cherries. Let them sit in your red wine for about two hours before serving. Then, add in 2 shots of peach liqueur to the mixture and start pouring.

Unick Meat Balls 

This fun play on our beloved Unick is sure to get some laughs. For an easy dish, use Trader Joes Turkey meatballs with a side of marinara and soy glaze.

House Barathean Brie cheese and Crackers

Everyone loves a little cheese and cracker action and it is so simple to throw together.

Calis’s Deviled Eggs

saucymommy.com

saucymommy.com

Those damn dragons keep getting older and bigger. Let’s go back to a simpler time when they were just wee little eggs. Somehow, I think we knew they would always be little devils!

Bud Vases with Dyed Peonies

Dyed Peonies

Dyed Peonies

I have a big obsession with dying flowers at the moment and I just love how a trio of bud vases look, soooo, I decided to show you all how-to create a wonderful display of bud vases with dyed peonies! I bought these cute spice holders at World Market for around $10 and have had them displayed in my kitchen for god knows how long. Well, as I was dying my peonies, I thought wouldn’t those storage jars make for cute bud vases? Voila! Always look for new ways to use what you already have! You will be surprised at how many household items make for awesome vases. Maybe empty spice jars or candle holders? Now, lets get into the nitty gritty of this DIY Diva project!

How-To: Dyed Peonies

Blue Dyed Peonies

Blue Dyed Peonies

You are going to be shocked at how easy it is to make these dyed peonies! Simply, cut the stem in half up the middle and put the two sides in blue food dye with a couple drops of water. The stems will begin to suck up the blue food dye and about three hours later you will have your finished product.

Food Dye

Food Dye

Prop the flower upright with tape! Sometimes, I prop the flower up next to my toaster oven. It’s off of course! I like to use little plastic cups for the food dye that you can get at Smart and Final for super cheap! Food dye you can get at any market! 

Bud Vases

Spice Jars

Spice Jars

Take your containers and put one full flower in each. I like to set up the display in a straight line and use only one dyed flower so it really pops! Voila! You have a Cuteastic display of bud vases with dyed peonies! 

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Send me your pictures

Are you a DIY Diva? Send me your pictures of unique bud vase flower displays for summer and be featured on The Hostess Handbook! Wahoooo!

St. Patrick’s Day Chic Shots

St.Patrick’s Day is NOT known for being a classy holiday, but a girl can try! These chic shots are super cute and will fancy up any St. Paddy’s Day party. The shot itself is an easy peasy recipe of 1/3 of melon liqueur and 2/3 vodka, with a splash of lemon juice. It makes for a light, refreshing and simple combination that goes down real smooth. Be careful not to have toooo many! Who am I kidding? Go for it! Serve in a mini martini glass to class it up and add the bow and a striped straw for some more pizzaz! Voila, you have super chic shots that are easy to make and fancy schmancy!

St. Patrick's Day Shots

St. Patrick’s Day Shots

St. Patrick’s Day Bow Wine Markers

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Bow Wine Markers

St Patrick’s Day is coming up this weekend and it seems like everyone is ready to have some fun. There will be lots of drinking and merriment soooo I wanted to show you a super cute DIY for all your holiday parties. With everyone getting sloshed, you’ll want to keep a hold of your precious drinks! Why not do it in style, right? Thus, my St. Patrick’s Day bow wine markers are the perfect solution.

Bow Wine Markers

Bow Wine Markers

These bow wine markers are super easy to make and sooo on your budget. You can make a bajillion of these for the price of the store bought kind. All you need is cute green chevron paper and gold letter stickers (both can be found at Michaels).

Bow Wine Marker Outline

Bow Wine Marker Outline

Use the flattened bow in the picture above as an outline to re-create the wine markers. You want the entire strip to be 3 inches long. Then, cut a slit  2/3rds into each knot (rounded area after the triangle) with one going from top to bottom and the other from bottom to top. Make sure to not cut all the way through the knot. Wrap your bow around the stem of your wine glass attaching each side with the slits in your knots and your done!!!!

Bow Wine Markers

Bow Wine Markers

Add some letter stickers to monogram the bows and personalize them. I absolutely love this tutorial and think it is a great decor piece for all you parties. Try making these bow wine markers this St. Patrick’s and add them to your party repertoire! Your guests will love, love, love them!

Add Letter Stickers to Monogram

Add Letter Stickers to Monogram

DIY Glam Wedge Sneakers

DIY Glam Wedge Sneakers

DIY Glam Wedge Sneakers

 The wedge sneaker craze is super popular, but I still couldn’t find a pair that I really like. Whoa is me! So, I decided to take matters into my own hands, or feet, and created DIY glam wedge sneakers for only $70!

Art Deco Wedge Sneakers

Art Deco Wedge Sneakers

I wanted a shoe with some pizazz but not a pair that would break the bank! I headed to H&M and found a great sneaker base. Now, what would I do to jazz them up? I thought about feathers, glitter and even pipe cleaners. All bad choices. Very, very bad! Then, as I was walking through the H&M store, I discovered an art deco style necklace that would pair perfectly with the sneakers. Voila, I had found the missing link.

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DIY STEPS:

Now, let’s put it all together! Actually, this project is super easy. All you need are your sneakers, two necklaces, a scissor and Weldbond glue. Take each necklace and cut the chain with a regular scissor leaving about two inches of chain on either side of the art deco triangles. String the necklace through the bottom shoe string holes and glue the chain on the inside of the sneaker. Next, secure the triangles to the sneaker by using Weldbond glue. Let your DIY glam wedge sneakers dry for about an hour before wearing them. Wahooo!! Totally amazing, super cuteastic, pizazzyy sneakers all for under $70!!!!!!!

DIY Glam Wedge Sneakers

DIY Glam Wedge Sneakers

DIY Diva: Fruit Crate Business Card Holder

DIY Card Holder

DIY Card Holder

Yesterday, I went to the Farmers Market on Melrose Place (one of my sunday rituals) and got some fabulous raspberries. As I took the fruit out of the cardboard crate and went to dispose of the container, a light bulb went off in my DIY diva brain! Hello, there must be some way I can repurpose this crate into something useful and DIYtastic. I had, at the same time, been emptying out my purse of a bajillion recipets, tissues AND businesss cards. Suddenly, it all came together. Why not turn the fruit crate into a business card holder? Well, the business cards only fit in half way because the container gets slightly smaller at the bottom. Soooooooo I filled the bottom of the crate with some gum balls that I had lying around the house! Yes, I just have random gum balls in my drawers. For real! Anyway, this solution was perfect, now the cards could rest on top of the gum and also be held in place by the candy so not to go toppling over the side.

Fruit Crate Business Card Holder

Fruit Crate Business Card Holder

This fruit crate business card holder is soooooo super easy to make and such a unique piece to have sitting on your desk. The next time you go to the super market or farmers market, grab a basket of fruit and try out this kitschy DIY Diva project. Now, that’s what I call recycling!

 

 

Thirsty Thursday: Oscars Inspired Cocktails

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Helloooo Thirsty Thursday! It’s my favorite time of year. Oscar time that is. LA is a buzz with constant parties and mingling. It seems as though everyone gets into the Oscar spirit and what better way to gear up and enjoy the show than with some Oscars inspired cocktails. My friends at Belvedere Vodka have provided us with some pretty fancy schmansy recipes for the show. Now, you can entertain like the big wigs with these Oscars inspired cocktails even if your not on a Belvedere budget!  

Recipes:

 

Classic American Hustle

American Hustle Cocktail

American Hustle Cocktail

50 ml of Vodka

20 ml lemon juice

15 ml simple syrup

Dash egg white

 Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify egg white. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and discard.

 12 Years Of Belvedere

12 Years a Lush Cocktail

12 Years a Lush Cocktail

 50 ml of Vodka

25 ml orange juice

Top Fever Tree Lemonade

Build drink over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

The Wall Street Dirty Martini

A Wolf of a Martini

A Very Dirty Martini

60 ml of Vodka

10 ml Dolin Dry

Splash of Olive Juice

Combine ingredients in mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into two chilled martini glass and garnish with a single green olive.

Fab Find: Light Bulb Salt and Pepper Shakers

Light Bulb Salt and Pepper Shakers

Light Bulb Salt and Pepper Shakers

I am soooo excited to share my fab find from this past weekend with all of you! Da Da Daaaaaa. How cute are these light bulb salt and pepper shakers? I  found these shakers downtown at Moskatels, which is like a Michaels craft store on crack, plus it has wholesale prices-DREAM. They are super unique and look great on a shabby chic inspired tablescape.

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 The best part? These light bulb salt and pepper shakers are less than 5 dollars for the set! Wahoo, I love a good deal. Please take yourself downtown to Moskatels and pick up a set for all your entertaining.

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Tasty Tip: Kale and White Bean Soup

White Bean and Kale Soup

White Bean and Kale Soup

It’s the perfect time of year for a homemade kale and white bean soup. The chilly nights call for you to cozy up and enjoy a hot bowl of soup. There is nothing better than a hearty AND healthy big ole bowl of kale and white bean goodness. My recipe takes the classic favorite a step further and adds savory BBQ turkey to the mix. The turkey creates a more complex flavor and allows the soup to be a full meal in itself. My secret ingredients are BBQ sauce and white wine! Try the recipe and see how the sweet BBQ and savory white wine pair perfectly for a soup to remember. 

Here’s How Ya Do it!

Ingredients:

1 Head of  chopped Kale

1 Can white beans

4 Chopped fresh garlic cloves

2 (32 oz) boxes of Swanson’s chicken broth with 33% less sodium

1 lb Lean ground turkey meat

1 Cup of chopped carrots

1 Chopped onion

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

3 tablespoons white wine

Garlic powder, salt and pepper

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Directions:

In a large soup pot saute your carrots, onions and garlic with olive oil until the veggies are soft. Then, add in your chopped kale and chicken broth. Bring this mixture to a boil and then once boiling lower to a simmer. At the same time brown your turkey meat and bbq sauce in a pan, sprinkling salt, pepper and garlic powder over the meat. Then, add the meat to the soup pot. Now, it’s time to add in your white beans. Take a can of white beans and saute them in a dash of olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic powder and 3 tablespoons of white wine. After they have soaked up the white wine flavor, place them in the soup and let the whole mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Voila, you have a YUMazing kale and white bean soup! Write to me and let me know what you think of the recipe. Enjoy!

DIY Diva: Valentines Day Door Curtain

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Valentines Day is around the corner and it is always so nice to spruce up your home with some spirit of love! Whether you’re having a party, hanging with friends or just wanting to decorate for the holiday, this Valentines Day door curtain is festive, super easy to make and so on your budget.

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Simply take red and white paper straws and string them together with pink ribbon. I strung 10 straws together for my door. I also added some heart paper straws, but if you want to cut down on the cost one or the other will look just as good! You can find the paper straws at Paper Source for less than $7! Then, hang your strips of straws in a doorway and add some curled ribbon in between for a little more pizzazz! Honestly, I love this DIY Diva project because it looks so wonderful and takes no time to create! Let’s make it an easy peasy Valentines Day this year.

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Healthy Super Bowl Favorites

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The Super Bowl is this weekend! You know what that means? Party Time! There will be a LOT of entertaining and people will be eating up a storm during the big game. But, that doesn’t mean the food, or at least ALL the food, has to be bad for you! Here are some recipes you can choose from to make healthy super bowl favorites. Serve a couple of these dishes and you’ll feel better about stuffing your face with pizza!

My healthy eating Guru, Kelly Boyer of Paleta, (a farm to table food delivery service and pressed juicery) was kind enough to share some of her classic healthy super bowl favorites with us. That’s right ladies, I went to the master herself!

FIT (not FRIED) CHICKEN WINGS

Did you know that a traditional buffalo wing sauce is actually 50% hot sauce and 50% BUTTER?  I like to make a much healthier version by using oven baked chicken tenders seasoned with crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, S&P, then toss the cooked chicken with Louisiana hot sauce and a splash of olive oil.  Serve with a yogurt and blue-cheese dip (no mayo, please) and celery sticks. 

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BEST (AND EASIEST) ONION DIP…EVER!

While I’m a classically trained French chef, this simple recipe has been in my family forever and guests are always shocked at how easy it is to make.  Don’t judge my culinary skills based on the recipe, but you WILL thank me.  Add half a medium sweet onion and 8oz of low-fat cream cheese to a blender and puree.  Really, that’s all you do.  Up the fiber by adding a half cup of white or garbanzo beans to take it to a whole ‘nuther level.  Serve with crudité and baked chips.  Voila’!

I NEVER MET A POTATO I DIDN’T LIKE.

True story!  But this year I’m replacing deep fried skins covered with sour cream, bacon, and cheese with SWEET POTATO skins oven baked with a splash of olive oil, cumin, S&P, and parmesan cheese.  I’ll finish them off with a little chopped parsley and serve with spicy marinara.

DIY Diva: Glam Tea Cups

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Glam Tea Cup

Glam Tea Cup

The other day I was at a little boutique in LA and saw these amazing Seletti tea cups shown below.

Seletti Tea Cups

Seletti Tea Cups

I was about to buy a whole bunch of them and then I looked at the price tag. $30 per cup! I nearly had a heart attach. Outrageous! I was not going to stand for this kind of cuteness at such a crazy price. The wheels in my DIY Diva brain started to turn and I said, “Duh, I can do this myself. See ya lata suckas.”

I found the perfect cups with great dainty handles while on vacation in NYC!

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For projects like this, always start at restaurant supply stores! They have cheap standard cups that are perfect for some embellishment work! I got my cups at Bari restaurant and pizza equipment  in Nolita in NYC for $2.50! I was ready to make my glam tea cups a reality. 

Now, ladies, this project is super easy and your glam tea cups will look amazing. All you need to do is get some porcelaine and or glass paint from Blick Art Supply in a set of colors that you really like. I went for pink, blue and yellow but play around with the colors and see what speaks to you! 

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Take your cups and simply paint the handles and then bake them in the oven at 300 Degrees for 35 minutes. They will be dishwasher safe after you bake them and ready for use!

I just love these glam tea cups. They are also sooooo on your budget! Instead of $30 a cup they are $3 a cup with paint included! Now, that is what I call a DIY Diva! These glam tea cups make for a great birthday present, house warming gift or personal home decor! 

Glam Tea Cup

Glam Tea Cup

DIY Glam Tea Cups

DIY Glam Tea Cups

Must Haves: West Elm Tote Bags

West Elm Market Totes found in stores

West Elm Market Totes found in stores

Every “green” hostess with the mostest must have a cute tote to carry around for her groceries and any fun party items she finds along the way. I personally always feel like I’m a bag lady. Constantly running around and carry tons of different satchels, one for my gym clothes, one for Olives toys, my purse. Well, now you can shlep in style ladies. I love these two West Elm tote bags. They are super kitschy and cute and are big enough to hold a lot of stuff. I am partial to the french bulldog. Wonder why! These babies will cost you $18 and they are very durable!

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Note- The online options vary from what are in stores so check out more options in store like the French Bulldog and “Can It” totes!

Last Minute Golden Globes Inspired Cocktails

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It’s one of my favorite nights of the year! The fashion, the stars and the Cocktails. Yup, the Golden Globes are tonight and every good party needs some fun themed drinks to get everyone excited about the awards! Themed spirits are such an easy way to set the mood for a party so I wanted to give you some last minute Golden Globes inspired cocktails for all your entertaining. My friends at Belvedere Vodka sent over a few suggestions. Whether with Belvedere or not, these drinks taste just as good on a young, broke and fabulous budget! Enjoy the show and and throw one back for me!

Nebraska Crush

nebraskacrush 

40 ml Belvedere Vodka / PG

20 ml pink grapefruit juice

15 ml cinnamon syrup

Dash fresh lemon juice  

Combine all ingredients in a tin and shake with ice. Fine strain over crushed ice into a rocks glass and garnish a pink grapefruit wedge. 

Wall Street “Dirty” Martini

TheWallStreetMartini

60 ml Belvedere Vodka

10 ml Dolin Dry

Combine ingredients in mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into two chilled martini glass and garnish with a single green olive.

Her Cosmo

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50 ml Belvedere Vodka / Mango Passion

15 ml Domaine de Canton

10 ml fresh lime juice

20 ml cranberry juice

Combine all ingredients in a tin and shake with ice. Fine strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange twist.

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