How to Host a Mardi Gras Party with Pier 1

Laissez les bon temps roulez! Or in other words........let the good times roll! 

With cajun blood running through my veins, of course I always get excited once the season for Mardi Gras rolls around. From the King Cakes, parades, and colorful costumes, it is always a fun time no matter where you celebrate it! Being from New Orleans, my parents always made sure to add a little touch of Mardi Gras decor around the house to celebrate, even if we didn't live there anymore. So of course I have taken those traditions into my own home and always make sure to add some purple, green, and gold touches. 

So how can you host your own Mardi Gras soiree? Well I am so glad you asked because I have tons of party tricks up my sleeve to help you host the perfect Mardi Gras Party! 

1. The Decor

Lots of purples, golds, and greens need to be in the mix...... and a few sparkles wouldn't hurt either! I am obsessed with the gorgeous Mardi Gras decor from Pier 1. This decor is such good quality and will last you year after year. Toss in a few masquerade masks, some beads, and a festive centerpiece for your table to make your guests feel like they have stepped into the French Quarter. Make sure to give your guests some beads to wear also as they arrive! 

2. The Food

Whip up some gumbo or a hearty cajun meal. Don't forget to finish it off with a king cake or some festive cookies! Of course my favorite King Cakes are from Randazzos (which you can have ordered and delivered to your....um yes please!), but usually you can find one at your local grocery store as well this time of year or even try whipping one up yourself with this recipe. 

3. The Music

This is probably my favorite part of Mardi Gras, the music!! Make a Mardi Gras playlist to keep your theme going and make sure to include songs like Second Line, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Mardi Gras Mambo. This will be sure to have your guests on their feet dancing! 

How do you like to celebrate Mardi Gras in your home?! 

Office Reveal + My Motivational Tactics

While this will always be a "work in progress", I wanted to share my little creative work space with you all today. For some reason I just can't seem to be productive sitting on my couch. We have too many shows to catch up on, it is so comfy so I just want to snuggle up, and when my butt hits the cushion it's game over! So I have been wanting to create a little nook where I can hide away for a little bit and let my creative juices flow. 

What I love about this space is it can be as girly as I want it! I think the key to a work space is finding what motivates you and will make you want to sit at that desk for as long as it takes. Whether that be a clean space with no distractions or a colorful space with motivational pieces all around to keep your imagination rolling. My style flips back and forth and I am sure once we move into a house it will be setup completely different, but for now this is my area! 

On the topic of motivation, my New Years resolution was consistency and I am holding myself to it. I have the days where all I want to do is sit on my comfy couch after a long day of work, but I know that putting in those few extra hours here will pay off in the long run. So here are a couple techniques that I am using to stay motivated and these may help you out too! 

1. Podcasts

So if you haven't heard, Houston has REALLY frustratingly BAD traffic. By time I get home, I am pretty much over everything and ready for a glass (or bottle) of wine, so I knew there had to be a better way to spend that 45 min - an hour car ride home from work that wouldn't make me turn grey at the age of 25. Podcasts came to the rescue! I had heard all of this talk about podcasts and how great they were, but kind of just always forgot about them. Currently I have been listening to Being Boss  which is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs and really gets me motivated to go home and tackle a blog post or answer all of those emails in my inbox. 

2. Cutting back the Netflix Binge Watching

I know this is like a sin, but TJ and I get in these habits of starting a really good show and end up spending the whole day Saturday watching episode after episode. So I've made it a rule for myself to only watch 2 episodes a day and AFTER I've finished all of the work that I need to get done. 

3. Reward Yourself

I like to set mini goals for myself throughout the day and then once those goals are completed I will reward myself with something. An example may be, answering all of my emails in my inbox and once I'm done spend 5-10 minutes reading one of my favorite blogs or go get a sweet treat. I find that setting these goals and having something to reward myself with afterwards really helps keep me on track and focused to get the task at hand done. 

What are some tricks that you use to keep yourself motivated? 

Leave me a comment below with some of your favorite ways to keep you motivated and focused to reach your goals! 

My Christmas Table with B By Brandie

Plates [c/o] B by Brandie | Placemats MYdrap (15% off with code Holiday15) | Gold dipped trees [c/o] Minted


I am so excited to be hosting our first Christmas at our home! Even though it may only be 4 of us and a pup, I still want everything to be festive and perfect for the Holiday. You may remember these gorgeous plates from this post, but I wanted to show how they can transition from season to season and work with any type of setting. 

The black and white design with a gold touch make them versatile yet glamorous to really make your table settings stand out. I went with red, gold, and silver accents to give it that Christmas feel, and I actually used a lot of the same pieces from my previous setting. One of my favorite ways to save money is to purchase pieces that are neutral in color so they can be used multiple times and then grab different home decor pieces you already own to change things up. 

One of my favorite parts of this setting are the placemats. Would you believe me if I told you they actually come on a roll like paper towels and you tear them off and then can wash and reuse them?! Well it's true so better believe it! They are from MYdrap and you can use code "Holiday15" to get 15% off your order until 12/31. 

Shop the rest of my table setting below: 

How to Plan the Perfect Brunch

So we all love brunching, that isn't a question, but how in the world do you host a fabulous brunch for you and your girlfriends? It's not easy I'll tell you that, but I am here to give you a little step by step guide to make the process go a little more smoothly. 

1. Pick a Date

You can't please everyone and not everyone will be able to show up, but find a date that is a few weeks out so your gal pals can plan accordingly. For my brunch, we were basing it off of the launch of the new Kendra Scott Jewelry collection which you can shop here, so we wanted to make sure the date was close enough to coincide with the launch. If you haven't checked out the new collection yet, you HAVE to because it's absolutely stunning! Talk about a total holiday glam collection. 

2. Pick a Location

This requires a little research. If you are hosting a brunch for a larger group, you want to make sure there is plenty enough room to fit everyone. Salento Wine Cafe was the perfect swanky space that had a private room for our shindig and was within walking distance of the Kendra Scott store. Perf! 

3. Make you Invitations & Find some Decor

Well of course you want the table (or tables) to look fab! Minted was the perfect one stop shop to find my table decor and to create easy online invitations to invite all of my guests. I am obsessed with these little gold dipped trees that looked so cute on the table. Creating the invitations was so easy and there are so many adorable themes to choose from. Check them out here

4. Floral Centerpieces

I always think flower makes a table. Create your own or buy a few floral arrangements to place on the table. These beautiful flowers were created by Diana from Arte & Design and her creations are breathtaking! 

5. Goody Bags

As a thank you for coming, treat your guests to some fun goody bags and you can include things such as OPI nail polish, Cosmedix face scrub, adorable business card holders from Geodes by Stacey for all of your girl boss best friends, some sheet masks from MaskerAide for them to pamper themselves, and many many other things. This is just a little something special to say "Hey thanks for being a friend and coming to drink mimosas with me :)". 

These are just a few things that helped me plan a perfect brunch and I hope they will help you for your next extravaganza too! 

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this brunch possible! -xo

 

 

 

 

 

Table Setting for the Holidays

Outfit c/o - Front Door Fashion


The holidays are upon us and that means it is time to gather round those dinner tables with your family, friends, and loved ones for some yummy food and lots of quality time. One of my favorite parts of the holidays is sitting around the table with family eating, catching up on each others lives, and playing endless rounds of Rummikub or Mexican train. So decorating the table accordingly for the holidays is a must. 

I have teamed up with B by Brandie to showcase their absolutely stunning dinnerware and how I have styled it for upcoming festivities. Their dinnerware is breathtaking with all of the gorgeous patterns and the great quality in each piece. It really adds elegance to your table setting and they can be used throughout all of the seasons. Since these are an investment and dinnerware that you will have forever, one of the great things about B by Brandie is that they let you try out a 5 piece set for 7 days for just $1. Let me tell you for people like me who can't make a decision to save their lives, this is a blessing. 

When I saw these dinner and salad plates I was done looking and knew that I had to have them. The black and white pattern with a touch of gold was so elegant and at the same time, eye catching. A great conversational piece for any dinner table. 

For fall I stuck with the traditional fall hues and added in some gold touches for some glam. You can shop all of my fall table setting below! 

This post is in partnership with B by Brandie, a brand I love. All opinions and selections here are my own. Thank you for supporting the affiliate posts who make this blog possible.

How to Cohabitate with Your Significant Other Peacefully

After almost 3 years of living together, we still have "our ways", we still butt heads, and we are still learning from one another, but I absolutely love this journey we are on together and figuring out what makes each other tick. Little things like putting the toilet paper on the right way and not closing the chip bag all the way drive TJ nuts. While leaving cabinet doors open and dirty clothes left on the floor make me crazy, but it is all part of the process of figuring each other out and how to cohabitate. 

So we may not be perfect and we may not have it down to a science, but here are a few tricks we have found helpful to peacefully cohabitate with your significant other! 

1. SHARE the Closet

We recently moved into a bigger apartment, so this has become a little bit easier because we now have an extra closet, but if you only have one then make sure you are sharing. Divide the closet down the middle and only hang the things that you wear every day. For seasonal clothes, get some storage bins and fold up your sweaters or jackets to store under the bed or on the floor of your closet. 

2. Optimize Your Hanging Space

One of TJ's pet peeves is single socks in his sock drawer that get lost and ultimately never find their mate. I just like to shove it all in there so I don't have to see anything laying around. Solution? The U.S.H or the Unmatched Sock Hanger! This sock hanger is great because you can store it anywhere and all of your unmatched socks are neatly out of the way. It's also great to hang on your closet door to store scarves or purses like I have shown and that helps clear up some space in the closet. 

3. Compromise on Furniture and Decor

While I would love everything to be pink and leopard print, TJ wouldn't appreciate it very much if he came home one day to a girls paradise. We just bought a whole bedroom set together for our new home and I constantly was asking TJ what he liked to make sure it fit both of our tastes. One way to make sure it is gender neutral, go with neutral colors. If all the neutral is feeling a little bore fest, throw in a pop of color with some decorative pillows or some faux flower arrangements. 

4. Don't get Stubborn in YOUR Ways

So this one I am still working on but we are making progress. Just because someone doesn't do something the way you have always done it doesn't mean their way is wrong. Sit down and have a discussion if something is truly bothering you before you blow up like a cannon ball (guilty....sorry babe!). 

5. Divvy Up the Chores

So this is a little embarrassing but I can't cook. I don't cook. Cooking and Julie don't get along. I have had one too many mishaps in the kitchen that I try and steer clear unless I am getting a glass of wine or a snack. The kitchen is TJ's domain and he loves cooking (Thank God), so he cooks our meals and I help clean up. It's important to equally partake in chores so one person isn't overwhelmed and feeling like they are always the one cleaning up after the other. While we still are working at this (I'm a clean freak and a stuffer), we always help each other out or offer to help which is key. 

What are some ways that help you and your significant other cohabitate peacefully? 

 

A Colorful & Durable Table Setting

When it comes to decorating, I definitely have my mama's jeans. We can spend countless hours in Pier 1, Home Goods, or any home decor store you can think of pretty much. Once we get started it just doesn't end, and let me just say we spent a good hour and a half in Pier 1 putting together this table setting (poor TJ)! We may have different tastes in things, but I love bouncing ideas off of each other and when we finally do get it all together we both get so excited! 

I have been so obsessed with bright colors and pattern play lately and when we saw these dishes at a boutique here in Houston, we knew they were coming home with us! What started as just dishes grew to place mats, salt & pepper shakers, candles, and flower arrangements until we finally had it all pieced together. One of the best parts of this whole display, the dishes are PLASTIC!! Can you believe it?! When I saw them in the store they looked like beautiful (and expensive) glass dishes, so I kept on walking knowing they would be WAY out of my price range, but to my surprise they were plastic and price friendly! So the ceramic trend continued when we headed over to Pier 1 and I found the perfect bowls to match. While we do have our set of fancy shmancy glass dishes, I have been wanting a set that was durable and more lightweight for everyday use (those glass dishes can get SUPER heavy). If you are looking for a way to spruce up your table setting and not break the bank, plastic is the way to go in my book! Shop all of my table pieces below! 

Thanks for reading! -xo

Design Within Reach

I am a sucker for clean modern designs, especially when it comes to my home, and Design Within Reach offers exactly that! I like to keep my home clutter free and simplistic with touches of flare here and there. The gold Almoco Flatware is one of my favorites by Design Within Reach. This flatware is so elegant and the gold gives your table setting a touch of glam!  

Almoco Flatware

Oh hello there you beautiful cowhide rug! Cowhide rugs are all the rage right now! The crisp lines and simple design of this living room space make it modern and to die for. I love dominance of neutrals with a pop of color in the throw pillows and a fun pendant light, they are for sure conversation starters.

Raleigh SofaStamen Pendant LightSpinneybeck Cowhide RugWomb Chair and Ottoman in FabricTextured Striped Pillow in Pink

When it comes to my work space, this is what I imagine. A beautiful modern canvas where your imagination can run free. A great workspace is key to be able to be productive so why not invest in great tools? Between lighting, a large area for you to spread your things out, and a comfortable chair that you won't want to get out of, Design Within Reach has all of the pieces you need in order to be a #GirlBoss.

Renew Executive Sit-To-Stand Desk Eames Aluminum Group Executive ChairTolomeo Desk Lamp

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner....you will want to spend more time than that at this table. To me, the kitchen table is the heart of the home. Since I was little, every night we would sit around the table and have dinner together and share stories about our day. I love doing this because you truly get to be together and spend time with your family without the craziness that we get caught up in with life. This long oak table gives you and your family PLENTY of room to spread out or even squeeze in if you are in a family of 19 & counting. 

Wishbone ChairsOdin Rectangular Extension Table in OakGM 30 Pendant Light

Curl up with a good book and a glass of wine in this super cozy chair. I love furniture that looks polished and chic but is still super comfortable and feels lived in. 

Womb Chair and Ottoman

Design Within Reach offers so many great modern pieces that are "within reach" and you will be sure to fall in love with!

Thanks for reading! -xo 

[All opinions are my own] 

No Sew Pillows

It has been 2 months since we have moved to Houston......I can't even believe it! Time flies so quickly! Moving can be fun, scary, tiring, and exciting all wrapped up in one big package. This is the first place that Tj and I get to call "our" home and it has been so much fun getting to pick things out together bringing both of our styles into the mix. 

Before we had even left Memphis I already had so many ideas in my head of how I wanted to decorate and could not wait to see it all come to life! One of my top DIY projects was to give these old pillows a much needed makeover. 

Unfortunately I didn't get to bring my mom's sewing kit with me, so when it came to recovering these pillows I had to find a no sew method. I searched endlessly on Pinterest for an easy no sew guide, but surprisingly did not come across as many as I thought I would. So it was off to Hobby Lobby and I was just going to cross my fingers and wing it! 

I picked out the fabrics with Tj's help ( I'm too indecisive with those choices, they are all so pretty), found some permanent fabric glue, and was heading home to see what kind of masterpiece I could pull together. 

So now down to the nitty gritty! Now before I get started with my step by step guide on how I made my pillows, I want to let you all know that this is probably not the "right" way to do it but hey, it worked for me and I am obsessed with my new throw pillows! 

What you will need: 

IMG_6478.jpg

-Some old pillows 

-Your favorite fabric(s) of choice - I got 1 yard of each to cover these standard sized throw pillows 

- Permanent Fabric Glue (I used Liquid Stitch Original and it worked great!) 

Step 1: 

-Measure about a 4 inch border from the edge of the pillow and then fold 2 inches of that edge over and glue so you have a clean edge. (Pictured above). Once you have one edge done, fold the other half of the fabric over the pillow to cover it and measure so you have two inches left over, and then fold and glue that edge. (Pictured below). 

Step 2: 

-You will want to do the same thing to the sides of the fabric so that you will end with about a 2 inch border from the pillows edge to the edge of the fabric. NOTE: You do not have to cut the fabric you can simply fold it over and glue it. 

Step 3: 

-Now just fold the fabric of the pillow to cover it, and you just need to glue all of the edges shut. I did one side at a time, pressing it down for about a minute and then moving on to the next. It takes about 30 minutes total to completely dry. 

If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to email me and I would be happy to help!

caloscloset@gmail.com  

-xo