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March-Must-Haves--Perfect-Patio-Party

How does that one saying go, Come on in, the water’s fine? Well, the spring sun is shining and all I can think to say is, Come on out, the weather’s fine! I am the kind of girl who loves to celebrate any and every occasion year round, but there is just something about the sweet season of spring that deserves a celebration all of its own. How does one celebrate spring, you ask? With a fabulous patio party, of course! While fresh air and warm weather lay a great foundation for your spring celebration, there are a few other must-haves that will make for the perfect patio party.

1. The Perfect Pitchers – While the warm weather does feel nice, you will definitely need something to help keep your cool. Whether it’s fruit infused water or an Arnold Palmer with a twist, you will need a pitcher that puts the “fun” in functional in order to serve your guests.

2. The Perfect Playlist – Mood music is also a must! And with one of these stylish, portable record players you can dance the night away to any decade. New or old, anything can be found on vinyl nowadays, from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours to Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience.

3. The Perfect Posture – Comfortable seating is key! Make sure your guest can sit back and relax while soaking up the sun. The more reclined, the better!

4. The Perfect Pop of Color – Part of what makes spring so fun is all the bright bursts of color! Make your patio pop with a couple of colorful accent pillows.

Easter is such a fun, family-friendly holiday that I look forward to every year. It has recently occurred to me, however, that Easter is a holiday that is all about the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching kids search the yard for the eggs they worked so hard to paint the night before; I love seeing their faces light up when they crack open a plastic egg filled with candy or a five dollar bill; I love the funny photos of children sitting in a giant bunnies lap—I love it all and it all makes for a great time spent with family and friends.

I truly appreciate the fact that parents work so hard trying to make this holiday a memorable experience for their kids every year—planning egg hunts, scheduling a visit to see the Easter Bunny, and picking out or arranging the perfect Easter basket for their little ones. While some parents continue to make these baskets for their children through college, the loving tradition eventually stops. But I don’t believe it has to!

If you are anything like me, you love giving gifts on any and every occasion. I think that Easter is another great excuse to show your loved-ones a little extra love. I have come up with a few ideas for creating alternative Easter “baskets” for some grown-up gals—the homebody, the beach goer, the frequent shopper, and, of course, the gardener. These “baskets” are created with a specific person in mind and are personalized to meet their specific interests.

Homebody

Sources | Canvas basket: Anthropologie; Tazo Tea: Available at Starbucks; Tea Cup: Anthropologie; Cashmere Socks: J.Crew

Beach Goer

Sources | Beach Bag: Sole Society; Sunglasses: Bonlook; Burt’s Bees: Available at Target; Water Bottle: Target

Frequent Shopper

Sources | Canvas Tote: Alphabet Bags; Coin Purse Wallet: Target; “What Would Audrey Do?” by Pamela Keogh: Modcloth; Infinity Scarf: Forever 21; Essie Nail Polish: Available at Target

Gardener

Sources | Garden Trug: Shop Terrain; Straw Hat: Forever 21; The Flower Recipe Book: Available at The Paris Market (Online)

If you have a different grown-up gal in mind—an artist, a chef, a stay-at-home mom—you can create your own alternative Easter “basket” just for them.

Here’s the basic formula:

Bag + Beauty + Book + Bite

  1. The grown-up gal doesn’t want some cheap, pastel basket that will end up in the attic, or worse, the trash. Give her something she can use again like a stylish tote or a garden trug.
  2. Also, the grown-up gal likes to look her best no matter what the occasion, whether she’s at home on the sofa or soaking up sun at the beach. A comfy pair of socks or a new pair of shades is exactly what she needs.
  3. While not all gals are book lovers, there seems to be a book for just about everything. Find a book that will be of interest to her, like fashion or flowers.
  4. The one thing about traditional Easter baskets that everyone can appreciate—especially, the grown-up gal—is the treats. Not every girl is interested in jellybeans or chocolate bunnies, though. Give her something special, something she will really enjoy, like her favorite snack food or maybe even a bottle of wine.

Happy Easter, everyone!

The month of February is typically characterized by one thing and one thing alone—Valentine’s Day. With this Hallmark holiday staking it’s claim on the first half of this month every single year, it is impossible to ignore the fact that love is certainly in the air and it is something contagious. That being said, this past month I have been inspired by a major symptom of the holiday itself—romance. However, I am not referring to the candy-hearts and chocolate-kisses kind of romance. My inspiration has sprung from something more sensual, dare I say dreamy, and with an irresistible punch of passion that will leave you breathless and give you some different ideas for Valentine’s Day.

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Photos courtesy of (From left to right): Design Love Fest, Rie Elise Larsen via House of Bliss, and Anthropologie

Romance is like floating. Create an indoor escape with decor such as a sanctuary of pillows, a ‘magic carpet’ throw, and a colorful collection of candelabras.

Enchanted Evening

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Photos courtesy of (From left to right): Terrain, Light Locations, and Free People Clothing

Romance is about adventure. Establish a fairytale evening of your own with this woodsy chandelier, an intimate soak, and a dress fit for both the warrior and princess within.

Secret Garden

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Photos courtesy of (From left to right): Harper’s Bazaar via Apartment 34, Confetti Pop, and Darling Magazine

Romance is for indulging. Uncover desire in a lush world of fast cars and feathers, floral toppers for your favorite cake, and flowers in your hair.