Hi, everyone! I'm back from vacation and looking forward to getting back into a posting schedule. I had a great time with my sister and so much fun exploring Savannah! Last year, Liz, Nina, and I teamed up to create virtual holiday parties - from outfits and decor to food, drinks, and more! This year, we've teamed up again for our virtual party blog hop and included our pal Janeane.
We've each selected a theme for our shindigs, this time with festive outfits provided by Yours Clothing. Janeane of Designing From My Closet is hosting a 40s Glam Outdoor Party. Liz of With Wonder and Whimsy delights with a Black and White Dessert Party, while Nina of Curvy Mod is throwing a Cocktail Potluck! I encourage you to pop into their events and say hello.
My party post from last year was much more glam and luxury. This year, I wanted to plan something a bit more laid-back and true to what I actually do - a game night with friends. Read on for a review of my outfit, tasty recipes, decor inspiration, and more!
- Yours Clothing gifted me the tunic, vest, and leggings for this post. Opinions are 100% my own. -
|Yes, I am totally rocking out to Westlife and New Kids On The Block in these photos!|
FashionFor my entertaining night in, I wanted something that spoke to the holidays but kept me comfy. All three pieces are versatile and easy to wear, making it easier to create even more fun outfits!
I started with the Red and White Alpine Tunic. I love the bright red hue and festive pattern at the neckline and hem. (It is also available in black and white.) I don't own a lot of sweaters, or any dresses in this silhouette, so it made it all the more fun to rock this look. The material is soft, cozy, and stretchy, perfect for cold winter days running around town or hanging out at home. The hem stops a few inches above my knee, which makes it perfect for pairing with leggings. I am wearing a 24/26US and while I have plenty of room in the tummy, hips, and arms, the bust is just a little larger on me.
The Black Sequin Ponte Leggings are stretchy along the back half, but are very fitted. I am glad I ordered a size 24/26US in these because there is room for my hips and thighs but they aren't super restrictive. Because the sequin portion doesn't stretch as much, I would order a size up if you carry more weight in your hips and thighs like I do. A few sequins fell off on initial stretching, but wasn't an issue afterward. Depending on how big your thighs are, you may occasionally have some sequins rubbing together. This creates minimal noise and wasn't too big of an issue for me. These leggings are beautifully shimmery and very comfortable.
I've loved seeing other bloggers rock fur in their holiday fashion posts. Even though I have a couple of vests I love to wear, I sometimes second-guess how they look on me. So I wasn't sure how the Black Faux Fur Gilet and I would get along. I wanted to try it so bad and thought it would make a great finishing touch to my holiday outfit. While the 24/26US size is a little large in the bust and shoulders, I am happy to report that I really love the way it looks. I belted it for a more fitted silhouette to counteract the bit of bulk. The faux fur is soft, shiny, and well-made. It looks much more luxurious in person. The longer length suits my body shape and size, making it a bit more versatile for me than a shorter vest.
Last time I talked about fashion from Yours Clothing, I mentioned that it was best to order from the UK sizes for a more proper fit. I disregarded my own advice and ordered all three items in a 24/26US size. All the tags say 26/28. I normally wear a size 24, so this made the tunic and vest a little larger than I would normally buy. They still looked good and didn't feel too baggy, but I wanted to reiterate that it is best to order from the UK sizing for more accurate fit. As always, I am continuously impressed by the quality and look of items from Yours Clothing. At such an affordable price point, I highly recommend checking them out for yourself!
Red & White Alpine Tunic, Black Faux Fur Gilet, & Black Sequin Ponte Leggings - Yours Clothing; Bow Belt - Lane Bryant; Black Plaza Float Boots - Clarks via Amazon.com
Image source (clockwise from upper left): A Pretty Life, Available Ideas, Hi Sugarplum!, Under The Sycamore, The Good Stuff, My Invisible Crown
I love bright, cheery displays with sparkles and shimmer for my decorations. The more festively colorful, the better! While I have some garlands and wreaths to hang, I love simple decor like placing ornaments in vases or on candle holders. Bright colored trees, wrapping pillows or picture frames to look like presents, and creating your own little bright decorations is certainly the way to go. I found a ton of DIY inspiration in researching this post, so I can't wait to get some extra things made this year.
Image source (clockwise from upper left): The Budget Decorator, Better Homes and Gardens, Organize & Decorate Everything, Available Ideas, Moonshine & Wool, Tatertots & Jello
Image source (clockwise from upper left): Family Holiday, Available Ideas, Midwest Living, Pippa Jameson Interiors, Ellery Designs
Image source (clockwise from upper left): Inspired By Charm, Whatever..., Two Twenty One, PopSugar, Bower Power
Image source (clockwise from upper left): Julia Asher, Favorite Family Recipes, Iowa Girl Eats, Food Network, The Cafe Sucre Farine, Carlsbad Cravings
For food, I opted for tasty appetizers and finger foods. When you make easy dishes like these, dress them up by serving them in a pretty dish or displaying them in a creative way. I just love the rosemary "wreath" used to serve marinated olives. You can never go wrong with some kind of meatballs, plus my friends always love the ham and pickle roll-ups and caprese salad. With the exception of the meatball recipes (which are easily tweaked), all of the recipes here are gluten free.
- Olive Wreath
- Ham & Pickle Roll-Ups
- Caprese Skewers or a salad version all mixed up in a serving bowl
- Sweet & Spicy Cranberry Meatballs or Cocktail Meatballs
- Bacon and Jalapeno Cheeseball
- Pan-Fried Onion Dip
- Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Brownies
- Mint Chip Truffles
- White Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies
- Jerry's Sugared Pecans
Image Source (clockwise from upper left): Bob's Red Mill, Elana's Pantry, Janice Amee's Gluten Free, Food Network
Image source (clockwise from upper left): Wellness Mama, Well Plated, All Free Slow Cooker Recipes, Mrs. Happy Homemaker, The Frugal Girls
In addition to your usual party beverages, offer up some warm holiday drinks for your friends. Making apple cider, hot cocoa, spiced wine, or a warm cranberry punch in your slow cooker, can allow for easy set-up and hassle-free serving. Take it up a notch with a Hot Cocoa Bar with chocolate-covered stirring spoons, cinnamon sticks, candy canes, and flavored marshmallows. Don't forget the alcohol! My friends and I are typically wine and beer drinkers, but spiking your hot cocoa or apple cider is certainly not frowned upon in my group. Flavored vodkas (marshmallow, caramel apple) as well as rum, whiskey, Bailey's, Kahlua, and Frangelico (and more!) make great additions to your holiday beverages.
- Slow Cooker Apple Cider (no added sugar)
- Slow Cooker Apple Cider (using store-bought cider and sugar)
- Slow Cooker Coconut Hot Chocolate
- Slow Cooker Creamy Hot Cocoa
- Slow Cooker Spiced Wine
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Punch
Image source: Amazon.com
As it is game night, it wouldn't be complete without the entertainment! Most of the time, my game nights feature a rousing night of Cards Against Humanity. It never fails to bring laughs and cringes with the silly questions and colorful answer cards. We've also had a few fun nights of Pictionary recently with a small group of friends. Board games like Scattergories, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, or Life can be fun also. Until we started playing CAH, a majority of our game night parties centered around one of our gaming consoles as we played games like Karaoke Revolution, Singstar, Guitar Hero, Beatles Rock Band, and Buzz Quiz TV.
I mentioned this last year, but party favors are such a fun treat for your guests. It is unexpected nowadays, but remains a fun surprise at the end of night. Favors don't have to be fancy. Some fun ideas include these Hot Cocoa Mix Ornaments, M&Ms Filled Ornaments, Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments, and Cinnamon Stick Tree Ornaments. You can make them ahead of time to hand out at the party; or you can encourage your friends to make their own personalized ornament as a party activity. These are all very simple projects that even the least creative of your pals can put together.
Do you have any tried and true recipes for a laid back night with friends? Do you have a favorite Game Night game? What are your holiday party planning tips? Chat with me in the comments! Make sure to visit the other ladies' festive parties!