Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

Welcome to our virtual holiday party hop!  For this festive post, Liz from With Wonder and Whimsy and Nina of Curvy Mod and myself, teamed up to bring you posts full of holiday fashion, styling and decorating tips, recipes and more!  We each have different party-ready frocks that we've used to inspire our own party themes.  Liz is wowing in SWAK at her Rustic Elegance party, while Nina looks posh in Simply Be at her Glam on a Budget festivities!  After you attend my party, make sure you swing by theirs too! - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party)

This is the Wrapped in Luxury Dress from Kiyonna.  I've featured Kiyonna many times and love them so much.  In case you are new to the brand, here are a few tidbits of info: Kiyonna carries sizes 10/12 (0x) to 30/32 (5x).  They provide dresses and separates in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures.  From body con leopard print dresses, sweet lace looks, and easy maxis, to more practical knit tops and pencil skirts, there is something for everyone. - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party) - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party)

I don't have a lot of opportunities to get really fancy, but when I saw this dress I knew I needed to make an opportunity.  The luxurious velvet fabric and deep teal hue made visions of diamond encrusted sugar plums dance in my head.  This dress inspires opulence, glitz, elegance, and romance. - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party) - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party)

The fit was magnificent!  I typically have issues with a true wrap dress fitting me well because I am smaller in the bust and larger in the hips.  The dolman sleeves seem to balance out my figure in a way that makes this dress enhance what it needs to and hide the things it can, while still giving me the ease that comes with a maxi dress.  This is the best fitting wrap dress I have tried on to date!  The shoulder and waist feature gathering that creates a beautiful drape in the comfortably stretchy velvet fabric.  While the fabric has a nice weight to it, I didn't find it too thick or stifling.  It truly is spectacular in person. - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party)

Despite my best efforts, the teal color of the dress looks very royal blue in my photos.  I want to point out that the dress is definitely teal, but possibly a bluer teal than the website photos.  Because of the shift and shine in the fabric, the color seemed a little different in each room of my house, depending on the lighting.  There is truly nothing I disliked about this dress.  The wrap style was perfect.  The sash length was great.  I'm in love with the supple fabric and color.  It would also make a fabulous New Year's Eve dress!

Because the dress feels like such a statement, I kept the accessories classic and simple - a drop necklace and earring set and strappy sandals. - Kiyonna Wrapped in Luxury Wrap Dress (Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party)
Velvet Luxe Wrap Dress- c/o Kiyonna
Bella Beautiful Drop Necklace - Charming Charlie
Bella Beautiful Drop Earrings - Charming Charlie
Strappy Heels - Payless

Holiday Styling Tips:
  • Holiday fashions should be fun and festive, but you don't want to be self-conscious and uncomfortable.  Think about the fabric, whether you will need to wear shapewear, or what kind of shoes you will need to wear.  Think about the party itself.  Will you be standing  or sitting mostly?  Is there dancing?  Will you be drinking a lot and need to visit the restroom accordingly?  Practical doesn't have to be boring.
  • If sequins and glitter aren't your thing (what a travesty!!), opt for luxurious fabric like velvet or brocade.  Rich, jewel-toned hues are perfect for holiday parties as well.  
  •  Add interest to a basic LBD with accessories - a pretty clutch, a gorgeous scarf or necklace, chandelier earrings, an embellished belt, fabulous shoes, etc.  These items are great ways to add personality and color as well.
  • Make sure your hair and makeup also reflect the dressiness of your attire.  For me, I feel like curling my hair gives me a more polished look.  For parties, I love to play up my eyes and do something fun.  For this particular look, I did a gold to teal gradient  to play off the color of the dress and add a more modern flair to my look.  Glitter eyeliners can add just a touch of sparkle or you can go for an all over shimmer.  
  • Because parties usually involve plenty of eating and drinking, I kept the lips neutral and glossy.  This makes it easy to touch up.  Lip stains that last all day are another great option for parties. 

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -
Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -


My decorating aesthetic is more colorful and a mix of kitschy and glitzy, depending on the room.  This dress definitely inspired a more formal and elegant decor style, mixed with shimmer and ambiance.

Monochromatic decor is the easiest way to create a more polished and elegant look for a table scape, mantel, or other location in your home.  Add an accent color or take inspiration from your normal decorating palette.  Most of my home is decorated in teal, turquoise, and green.  For holiday decor, I chose fluffy faux pine garlands for my mantel and stair rail and decorated them with sparkling turquoise and green ribbon, flowers, ornaments, and tinsel.  The decor seems a bit more seamless and adds to the existing decoration instead of clashing.

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -
Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

Whether your festive decorations are layered or minimal, candles are a must!  Everyone looks amazing in candlelight.  Candles can provide a stunning, magical ambiance with very little effort.  Utilize existing objects in your holiday decorations.  Fill wine glasses with ornaments, turn them upside down on a table, and place a candle on top.  The same thing can be done with vases.  Bring out your decorative trays, mirrors, placemats, scarves, jewelry, etc.  Get creative with how you decorate!

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

If you love to use your crafting skills for DIY projects, now is the time!  Use thrifted candle holders and vases to make your own mercury glass.  Go to town with glitter, glue, spray paint, ribbon, sequins, decorative scissors, etc.  For example, last year I bought six colorful small beaded garlands on clearance at Target.  I hot glued them to tall cardboard cones and filled in the gaps with white glitter to make candy-colored, snowy trees. (That DIY project will be on the blog next week.) Adding personal touches or extra sparkle helps bring your party to life!

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

I would also encourage you to pay attention to the little details.  Part of what makes a party special is providing a wonderful experience for your guests.  Place settings, menu cards, and other little added touches do not go unseen.  Have a special music playlist going.  Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon Prime all have great selections.  Pull up the Yule Log Channel on your television.  Have some games on hand when the conversation dies down a bit.  Your guests will appreciate all the special time and effort you put into making the party so memorable.

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -


Creating a party menu is both challenging and extremely fun for me.  I love trying new recipes, but these days I have to keep it gluten free at the very least.  Still, there are plenty of tasty options out there, whether you are also saying no to dairy, grain, and sugar...or all of the above.  Keep in mind that you can also adapt recipes to your required dietary lifestyle.

My party menu includes appetizers of Caprese Skewers (always a huge hit at my parties), Walnut Cranberry Pinwheels, and Stuffed Mushrooms.

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

For the main course: Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Horseradish Cream, Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf, and Roasted Root Vegetables.  For dessert, White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse.
Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

Don't forget the drinks!  It is easiest and most budget friendly to serve a signature cocktail at your party.  Maybe you whip up a fabulous martini or you may want to offer a Pomegranate-Cranberry infused Champagne Sparkler.  Starting coffee to go with dessert is also a good idea.  I have a coffee bar in my dining room where I use a large coffee pot to make regular coffee and a small pot for those that want decaf.  Setting out a decorative tray with coffee flavoring components is also a wonderful gesture for your guests.  You can include flavored syrups, cream, sugars, Bailey's Irish Cream, and flavored vodkas.

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

I admit, I can totally go overboard with this party planning stuff.  It is the over-achiever in me.  But if you really want to take it a step further, party favors are the way to go!  For a smaller dinner party crowd, there are plenty of things you can offer your guests at the end of the night.  You can choose to continue the theme of the party into these gifts or have it be a simple gesture.  Some ideas for holiday party favors include: caramel dipped pears, tiny potted Christmas trees, ornaments filled with ingredients for hot cocoa, wine, chocolates, homemade sugar scrubs, mini champagne bottles, or baked goods.  If you plan far enough in advance, you could also infuse your own vodka and give those as gifts.

Cheers! - A Holiday Blog Party -

Thank you for stopping by my holiday shindig!  I hope you had a great time!  For more ideas, examples, how-tos, and recipes on all the topics discussed here, check out my Holiday Party Board on Pinterest.  Don't forget to stop by Liz's Rustic Elegance Party and Nina's Glam on a Budget Soiree on their blogs as well!

Share your holiday styling tips, decorating ideas, and/or favorite holiday recipes with me in the comments!  

Disclosure: I am a member of the Kiyonna Blogger Brigade and they provided me with the dress in this post.  All opinions on the item are my own.


  1. Hailey, this is fantastic! I want to come to your party! I love how you thought through everything to the tiniest details, even party favors! Those caramel dipped pears look so decadent and delicious!

    I definitely felt the plush, cozy soiree you were going for. The pine branches mixed with the velvet stockings and candlelight feels so cozy and romantic.

    I'm amazed by how well you used your dress to inspire the decor and recipes. When I showed Kyle a picture of you in the dress, he said, "Wow! She looks really beautiful!" And I agree. You make the dress look so divalicious and classy and glamorous. I love that you let the dress shine and went for minimal accessories. That's a dress that you can definitely wear through the years, too. It's such a classic and is so elegant. I'm continually impressed by Kiyonna's special occasion dresses. Now if I could just bite the bullet and try one for myself!

    Thank you so much for participating in this post with me! I think that between you, me, and Nina, we put together a really nice variety of looks, styling tips, and themes.

    Your tips for simple crafts and what to keep in mind when selecting a holiday outfit were so helpful, too. They're very practical and things I often overlook. You've inspired me to get more active with crafting. The crafts I made with my mom over the weekend inspired me, too. I can't wait to see these garland trees you'll be sharing later on the blog!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    <3 Liz

  2. I think this outfit is adorable, but now that you said it, it looks just like something Peg Bundy would wear! But it's still really cute, I love purple and leopard print.

  3. You look fantastic in that dress, it's so elegant and beautiful, very glamorous! Your Christmas party looks amazing too. I love all the glitter and shine, it looks very elegant and classy too.

  4. Thank you! It is a fun pairing of pattern and color.

  5. Fabulous! The dress really does appear royal blue in these pictures, but I think the dress would be stunning in any color.

  6. The dress looks great on you, and I love most colors that are anywhere close to that. Your eye makeup also rocks (as usual) (and you need to post an eyeshadow tutorial <3). I admire people who are good at event is a skill I mostly lack. I don't mind making food, but everything else just makes me all stressed out.

  7. See, I love the decorating and all that, but the food part stresses me out. So you and I could carry out the perfect party! I was an event planner for a craft store (which is totally not party planning), but it was enough of a planning type situation where I had to learn to think of all the details. I think that is why I possess any skill in that arena.

    Okay, I am long overdo for an eyeshadow tutorial. What kind of look would you want to see? I know I did one before that was more neutral browns and golds or does something like this appeal to you more? Narrow down the look for me and I will make it happen!

  8. Thank you! It is such a beautiful dress indeed. I am very curious about what the purple looks like in person. I LOVE jewel tones!

  9. Thank you! Glitter runs in my veins, so I cannot have a party without it! I cannot wait to wear this dress again. It definitely gets me in the glitzy mood.

  10. I don't really care what KIND of look, but my eyeshadow never ever looks like yours. I'm thinking a tutorial about what brushes to use and what order to apply things in. A neutral (matte?) eye is ideal, but seriously, I suck at eyeshadow, so all assistance is appreciated :)

  11. That gives me a good direction. Thank you. I made a note of it so I can get on that. :-)

  12. Hi Nina! Sorry I have been so slow to reply. Thank you for all your kind words. :-) This collaboration was so much fun and I am glad we were all inspired by one another's amazing posts and ideas.

    Definitely add a party favor to your next party and try it out. You can never go wrong with that. People really love that extra touch. And I fully recommend the caprese skewers for apps. They went SO FAST at my birthday party. I should have made double what I did.

    I was thinking some kind of sparkly clip or brooch would be pretty to hold the dress's slit in place. I had to hold the fabric back to make that happen, but I think some kind of clip would do the trick. Plus, any excuse to add sparkles!

    Have a Merry Christmas!!

  13. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply back....

    I would love to have you at my party! It was so much fun to be creative and really go all out with the details for this post. I didn't have a pesky budget to deal with, although I did try to keep that in mind when planning. :-) I am glad my inspiration showed and the atmosphere I was trying to convey came through in everything.

    Tell Kyle thank you from me. That was so sweet of him to say. As much as I love Kiyonna, I have had issues with wrap dresses in the past but was so impressed and over the moon with this one. I made sure to tell them so. Sean even requested a framed photo of the leggy picture for Christmas. lol

    I think you, Nina, and I did an awesome job with this collaboration and really presented some great ideas and festive styles. I look forward to more collabs in the future! I hope you have a Merry Christmas! And do let me know about all the fun crafts you make!