We hosted this year’s office Christmas party at our house.
As you may have seen from my Christmas decorations page, I tried something more grown up this year and went with a burlap, white, silver and gold theme.
The decor was not the only thing that was more grown up. We also served more sophisticated food. (It all started because hubby insisted on serving hot food and I felt we needed “easier” food for those that were coming and going at different times. Turns out everyone pretty much came – and left – around the same time so hot food worked out well too! Damn it I hate it when he’s right) 😉
And the best part is everyone said they felt so great after eating. (That’s how you should feel after EVERY MEAL – yes, even when you go to other people’s parties!)
Here is what we served:
- Bruschetta with gluten free crackers and gluten-free bread (that we toasted and quartered)
- Butternut squash & kale salad with sun dried tomatoes, scallons, pine nuts, balsalmic dressing, and dried cranberries (hubby didn’t like that I used those but the fresh ones were all gone). This was inspired by a friend who made something similar to this….and it was soooo good!
- Grass fed beef chili with organic beans
- Stuffed eggplant with roasted red peppers, sauteed spinach and fresh herb goat cheese (and some without goat cheese for our vegan and dairy/free team members) topped with shallots and tomatoes with a hint of balsalmic. OMGosh this was so good! I can’t take credit for this either because the chef at a recent cooking class taught us this recipe. Holy deliciousness!
- And for desert we had apples sauteed in water and sprinkled with Siagon Cinnamon.
**Note: we call it a Christmas party because at this point in time everyone on our team celebrates Christmas. When someone on our team celebrates a holiday other than Christmas, we are more than happy to call it a “Holiday Party” so EVERYONE on our team feels welcome and included. Because the season is about sharing love with all.
Wishing you a beautiful holiday season! May you enjoy healthy and delicious foods and warm friendships over the year.
It feels like we have grown into the next phase of parenthood. Now that we feel more grown up, we wanted to have a more grown up color scheme and decor for our Christmas decorations.
Because my daughter is volunteering and traveling in Europe for her gap year, it doesn’t feel the same to celebrate the holiday’s without her. So we weren’t sure we even wanted to do much decorating for Christmas. We thought we might put up some of the decor, but leave the tree for another year.
Then our 13 year old son spoke up.
“Mom. The tree is the part that makes everything FEEL like Christmas.” (Especially when you live in sunny Arizona and snow – and green things in general, like trees – are hard to find. So I can see his point) 😉
He also insisted we only put up the sentimental ornaments, which is brilliant because we have somewhere around 400-500+ ornaments that we didn’t have to put up using this advice. Putting up just the pretties white, silver and gold one – and the ornaments that mean something to us, meant considerably less time decorating the tree. And honestly it’s not about having the most beautiful (and perfect) tree! I’d rather have a Charlie Brown tree that is more meaningful. Luckily I feel you can have BOTH a sentimental tree that is beautiful to look at!
I used our 10 foot tree that used to be pre-lit when we purchased it over a decade ago. Last year I cut all of those tiny little lights off and this year I made hubby buy white lights. (Also the first time in a decade we haven’t had rainbow lights – because I wanted to do something a little more “grown up” – in honor of our kids growing up this year). 1000 bulbs later it was done.
Next step was to use burlap ribbon. I found a GREAT priced ribbon on Amazon….but I won’t give you the link because it was a nightmare to work with. Haaa! It sheds and you have the trim the sheddings (is that even a word?) every few minutes. So to save your sanity, here’s what you should look for. Find a burlap ribbon that has the side edges hemmed or fused together so it wont unravel as you go.
Then I tied it around the tree. I also used it on the kitchen barstools (along with a jumbo gold bow). Then I used it on the 2 wreaths I found at Home Goods.
I’m especially proud of the wreath over the fireplace because it was made out of hay and considered a “fall” item so it was marked down an additional 50% – only cost $15! Because it was made out of real hay it was straw colored. So I spray painted it white, and added the burlap ribbon to it to make it fit my “burlap, white, silver and gold” theme this year. Love how it looks!
To Hang up the wreath on the mirror over the fireplace AND the hood over the stove, I used the peel and stick damage free hanging hooks from Command. White for the hood (to match the white hood), and silver for the mirror. I haven’t tried to remove them yet so I DO hope it really is damage-free. Although after I put on the one from the mirror I realized I put the “this side goes on the wall” part of the adhesive strip…well, not on the mirror (wall). So we shall see how easily that comes off! Luckily it’s a mirror so worst case scenario you can always just soak the area to help remove any leftover adhesive. (Hey, I’m a smart girl, but some days are not smart days. Some days are “pretty days”). 😉
Now you’ll just have to pretend that the fluffy white Christmas stockings I ordered came and are hanging on the mantle! Haa!
No matter what colors you use to decorate, from my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!
You always think you’re prepared for cold weather, then bam! It hits suddenly and everything you thought wold look great – for CASUAL wear – looks like you’re trying too hard.
So I did what any creative mom with limited time (and a limited budget) would do….I raided my daughter’s closet. I mean, come on. She’s volunteering and traveling half the world away so she’ll never even know. Shhhhhh! 😉
What do you pack for a weekend get-a-way at a local 5 star resort when you are celebrating your girlfriend’s birthday?
Especially when you are staying at the gorgeous Phoenician Resort. And here’s a little secret….
Within the resort, there is an even more private little paradise called the Canyon Suites. You have your own pool, breakfast, valet parking, and more – all within the intimate group of suites. This is where we stayed.
I arrived in yoga pants and flip flops and brought:
- Vintage dress (from a preveious $10 sidewalk sale)
- White jeans
- Purple cashmere sweater
- Valentino heels
- present for the Birthday Girl
The first day was all about relaxing. Then we enjoyed a dinner with friends at night. And after a beautiful breakfast the next day, we had an incredible champagne brunch with the rest of our girlfriends. Here we laughed, shared updates, spotted a celebrity, and ate and drank too much. And we planned our next out of town trip (so you’ll want to be on the lookout for that!)
It was a perfect weekend with some of my favorite people. And on the heels of Thanksgiving, I’m feeling incredibly thankful and blessed.
Wishing you a beautiful day!