Entertaining & nesting
with do-it-yourself details.

Styling the Threshold Bar Cart

Threshold Bar Cart from Target

After looking fruitlessly for an affordable bar cart, I finally found the perfect piece on a routine stop at Target. This Threshold Wood and Brass Bar Cart is just the right size for our living room, and was just the right price—$130!—for us to bring it home right away. (I think we were there to spend $20 on hand soap and socks.)

Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta

With all the tools, cute accessories (like a gold-edged glass from the brewery where we’re getting married later this year), and you know… bottles that need to fit on our bar station, I needed some help. Here are a few posts that have helped me figure out how to style the gear on our new bar cart:

It’s not exactly where we want it yet. I keep moving things around on the cart every time we host a party trying to figure out the best way to display all the necessary tools and pieces (and at least some of the pretty things).

Styling a Bar Cart

2014 Fantasy Oscars Draft Game

2014 Fantasy Oscars Draft Game

I’m getting the annual Fantasy Oscars game cards out a little late this year, but I just couldn’t leave you guys hanging. I’m actually overwhelmed by the amount of people who’ve reached out to me since the Oscar nominees were announced to find out if I’d be preparing the Formal Fringe Fantasy Oscars deck again.

I’m so glad you guys have so much fun with this game. This is now year four for me hosting the game for friends, and year three of releasing the Fantasy Oscars deck here on Formal Fringe for each of you out there to play along. What started as a fun way to get both film buffs and casual moviegoers into the Academy Awards has turned into something that many of you look forward to each year!

2014 Fantasy Oscars Draft Game

If you’ve never played or heard of it before, here’s the gist:

Print out the deck of Fantasy Oscars cards (they’re sized to fit Avery tear-apart printable business cards), then spread them out face-up on a table or pinned to a cork board to create your draft board. Players take turns drafting their favorite movies, actors and presenters onto their Fantasy Oscars Team until everyone has a full hand (5-7 cards depending on how many you’re playing with).

As you watch the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2, each player earns points based on what happens to the people and films in their team’s roster. Getting shown or named on screen earns one point, while winning an award earns three.

>> 2014 Fantasy Oscars Draft Game

2014 Fantasy Oscars Draft Game

It’s a great way to get guys involved in Oscar parties, too. I’ve found that husbands and boyfriends are less than thrilled at watching the Academy Awards. By turning it into a game that borrows elements from Fantasy Football, everyone’s competitive streak comes out.

It’s a great way to liven up an Oscar party for two or twenty people. All you need to make the deck and play is a printer and 15 sheets of cardstock (or print it on the back of scrapbook paper like I did!).

Snowed In with a White Hot Chocolate

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The city of Atlanta is under a layer of ice right now, and I’m snowed in at home. On one hand, I’m going a little stir crazy after two days stuck inside away from the office. But on the other hand, it gives me some time to try some recipies I’ve been putting off.

This homemade white hot chocolate recipe from Gimmie Some Oven has been on my list for too long. So today while we were bundled up inside still trying to conserve our heating, I whipped up a batch of steamy creamy goodness. And it was delicious. So simple too. There’s just three ingredients: milk, vanilla and white chocolate. And only one direction: Mix and heat in a saucepan on the oven.

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» Recipe here: Gimmie Some Oven

It was seriously rich, but the perfect afternoon snack for a cold, icy day. I bet we’ll make this again soon.

Stay warm, wherever you are!

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2014 Minted Wedding Collection

Minted Wedding

I can’t believe 2014 is here. It’s time for a fresh start, new resolutions and, oh yeah… I’m getting married! With less than 10 months to go, it’s time for me to start thinking about sending Save-the-Dates.

In a twist of fate, the online stationery marketplace Minted reached out recently to ask if I could check out their wedding collection. There’s so much great stuff out there, you guys. And Minted makes the whole thing look easy. As a graphic designer, I’m really picky about stationery and paper products for our wedding (and everything else in life, really). But Minted is a design marketplace, which means that the products on the site are created and sold by a huge network of independent designers with their own talents and styles. There’s something for everyone.

In fact, once you’ve browsed the huge selection and settled on the perfect design, there’s even more ways to customize it. After adding your own names and photos, you can change the paper, shape and colors of most of the designs. Plus, Minted makes it easy to add backers, envelope liners and coordinating labels.

Save the Date Wedding Suite

I drafted this Save-the-Date suite up in just a few minutes with our engagement photos and wedding details (It’s the New Adventures design). Even with all the bells and whistles—a patterned backer, matching wrap-around return address labels, and a kraft paper envelope with a glittering gold liner—the grand total for 55 professionally designed cards is around $200.

With most designs in Minted’s wedding collection, you can follow up your Save-the-Date with coordinated Invitation suites and thank you notes. It’s like having your own custom stationer, but for way less cash.

The first step to gorgeous wedding paper is, of course, picking the perfect design. Here are a few of my favorite design suites for different personalities:

For a trendsetter and fashionista:  Ombre

Ombre Wedding Invitation Suite

(more…)

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

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After growing up in Florida, I’m thankful to spend Christmas this year in an actual winter wonderland with the mister’s family in Michigan. I’m currently cozied up inside on Christmas Eve with an iPad and a can of Vernors Ginger Ale (this stuff is seriously good), peeking out at a frozen lake and trees dusted with snow. I hope each of you has a wonderful Christmas today, whatever the temperature!

(The pic above is paper tree decorations from Radostina of Seventy Nine Ideas. I added the text with Over, a photo graphics app for iPad)

Making Spirits Bright

Boozy Gift Bag & Mason Jar Tag

I love Stock the Bar parties. Maybe it’s because my friends and I are at the stage where we already have all we need, but I love the idea of starting newlyweds (or nearly weds) off with a fully-stocked home bar instead of more stuff (I know I’d rather have a full bar than a full tupperware cabinet any day). It’s also a great theme for a housewarming party. Every guest brings along a bottle of their favorite liquor as a gift, and by the end of the night the hosts have a full bar to entertain anytime in their new home.

The easiest way to wrap up a bottle of wine or liquor is my usual method: Stash it into a tall gift bag with some festive tissue. But when a friend announced she and her husband were celebrating their new home with a combination Stock the Bar Housewarming and Christmas Party, I knew I had to create something special. Inspired by the classy brown paper bags they dish out at the liquor store, I decided to go hobo-chic and present this bottle of gin inside a stamped paper bag that was rolled down and tied up with pretty striped ribbon.

(By the way, this gin, The Botanist, came highly recommended by my local liquor guy. Apparently the guys at the distillery first set out to make scotch, but they realized that nobody wanted to buy young scotch. Instead of giving up, they switched the plan to making this really wonderful small-batch, aromatic gin.)

Boozy Gift Bag & Mason Jar Tag

To finish it off, I added a handmade gift tag made from a paint chip palette. This is my new go-to gift tag this holiday season because it’s so easy and impressive. Press an inked rubber stamp (this mason jar is my favorite) across a few colors on the paint strip. Then cut it out, punch a hole or add a grommet, then write your message with permanent marker. Taking calligraphy classes is on my bucket list, but until then, I like to practice copying calligraphy and typography from photos on the internet. I just searched for “making spirits bright calligraphy,” found this image and practiced a bit before inking the tag.

Boozy Gift Bag & Mason Jar TagBoozy Gift Bag & Mason Jar Tag

Boozy Gift Bag & Mason Jar Tag