Wednesday, December 31, 2014

5 Last Minute NYE Party Ideas

Happy New Years Eve! WOW, it's the last day of 2014 - can you believe it? Where has the time gone? I feel like just yesterday I was reminiscing on how amazing 2013 was for me and now it's time to do it all over again! Here are a few of my favorite last minute ways to ring in the new year! They're all super easy and won't take too long to pull together {so they're perfect for those of you procrastinators like me} Until next year!

1. Add some confetti to the balloons before you fill them up with helium. They make for a festive special touch and would even be fun to pop with friends and family when the clock hits midnight!

2. Top champagne glasses with fortune cookies. This is a quick and easy way to add some fun to your bubbly. Stop by your local Chinese take out and grab a handful to open after a toast to the new year!

3. Fill martini glasses with store bought cupcakes. And then tell your friends how you slaved over them for hours! Only kidding! When you're in a crunch and don't have enough time to bake up some treats, this is a great way to hide the store bought packaging and create a decorative display. {Also great for individual portions so guests can stand and mingle while indulging in sweet treats}

4. Don't forget the party hats! Spice up those plain old party hats with some sparkly scrapbook paper and some left over tinsel from the Christmas tree and you've got yourself a party. You could even set out all the paper, tinsel and other supplies and create a "make your own party hat" table if you're cutting it close on time. {tutorial included}

5. DIY Glitter cups. This one is probably my favorite, and it could get messy... but how cute are these and who doesn't love glitter? Grab some plain plastic party cups, some mod podge and glitter from the craft store and make sure to let them set for a few hours before you pop open the bubbly. {tutorial included}

Monday, December 22, 2014


christmas holiday inspiration

It's Here, It's Here! Christmas is this week! I'm so excited to see my family this week and share such a happy and festive time of year with them! Today's moldboard touches a little bit on the red and green but also shares a little peek into my holiday style... festive, rustic and simple. I hope everyone enjoys their week and time spent with friends & family.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Posting on a Sunday is a little unusual for me but with the holidays here and everyone prepping for Santa this coming week I figured this one will be well worth the Sunday read. I'm hopeful that everyone has conquered the crowds at their local shopping malls and now all you need to do is wrap those presents! So, grab a cup of coffee and a blanket, take a quick break from the to-do list and get cozy with me for a little Sunday reading!

First things first, lets talk holiday cards. Considering Christmas is Thursday {hi, where did the 2014 go?} you or your family has probably already sent out Christmas cards. You're probably thinking 'wow, you're late to the game' but what you haven't thought of are all the other ways you can use christmas cards. I'm not talking heading down to target or hallmark and grabbing a box of premade cards. I'm talking Minted, the online marketplace of independent artists and designers. At Minted, you can personalize your cards with photos and choose between multiple card shapes and colors. The only hard part is making a decision on which card to personalize. {they even have gold foil cards

Curious now are we? Not only can you send out New Years cards to your friends and family instead of the traditional Christmas cards, especially for those who celebrate multiple holidays, you can also create holiday party invites! I actually received this card in the mail a few weeks ago! You can get 15% off your holiday card order using the code HOLIDAY15 at checkout. Offer ends at 11:59pmPST on 12/22! Here are a few of my favorites:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Now, if you're like me and you live on your own, work a little too much and don't have a boatload of people to send holiday cards to yet - Then I'm sure you're also like me in the sense that you still have people to get gifts for this year. These art prints are made by numerous talented people and WOW are they pretty! Want one better? I'm dying over the personalized map prints... Christmas gifts, Wedding Gifts, Birthdays and Anniversaries will never be the same now that I know about these bad boys! {This would be perfect for my mom & dad since they're planning to sell their house and head south!} I love abstract watercolor prints but I never have the guts to try to create them on my own, the prints from minted are the perfect answer! Gallery walls, nightstands, or just a simple gift, you're set. For the rest of these art prints, I'll stop blabbing my mouth and let them do the talking, here are my favorites:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4

1 // 2 // 3

This is a sponsored post by Minted, all products mentioned were chosen by myself. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Defined Designs possible!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mix and Match

Today I'm sharing a little peek into one of my new favorite spaces in my house. Simplifying the gallery wall and isolating it to a singular photo ledge gives you the ability to change out picture frames and artwork with minimal effort. And if you're anything like me and are completely indecisive then this is the perfect concept. I can tell you for a fact though... the one item that is not changing from my photo wall is this beautiful custom painting. Let me introduce you to the The Painted Elephant. The creative mastermind behind The Painted Elephant and a local to Charlotte, Alysa Wayland is truly an amazing artist. My ginger jar painting should say it all {similar painting here}

I finally took my love of ginger jars to my bedroom, bringing in the whites and blues found in the  timeless chinoiserie jars with an Anthropologie twist. I've paired this beautiful painting with a variety of frames in different sizes and materials. Combining wood, ceramic, and painted frames {and a touch of gold} create the mix & match/ anthro feel that we all know and love. I also mixed both photos and artwork with the painting to continue the look I was going for.

Alysa could not have done a better job with this painting - the use of bright colors and the depth and light perceived with brushstrokes just blows my mind. I can't help but think of it as a combination of Lilly Pulitzer meets Andy Warhol... and I LOVEE both, especially Andy Warhol. {there's the art student in me coming out} Below are the images that I shared with Alysa when we were discussing what kind of painting I was thinking of for this space. I'm sure by now we all know my love for ginger jars, and some of my favorite paintings of Alysa's are of her beautiful hand painted blooms. I sent her these images thinking that I could combine the two and she did not disappoint.

Alysa's artwork is available on her etsy shop, she also offers custom signs and artwork perfect for baby showers, wedding gifts, or personal gifts if you want one for yourself! 
Follow along with The Painted Elephant

Shop & Contact The Painted Elephant

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Minute Gifts Under $25

Alright, Alright, we're getting down to the wire on the Holiday Shopping. The first day of Hanukkah was yesterday and Christmas is next week!! Can you believe it? The holiday parties are piling up on the calendar and you've got to get a hostess gift, or a gift for that yankee swap gift exchange... or you're a last minute shopper and need something for a coworker. I mean, who wouldn't want this Beyonce inspired coffee mug...? & these candles smell so delicious you could eat them! This is the last gift guide and might be one of my favorites so trust me I had numerous items on this list. Somehow I was able to narrow it down to 9 items {to make things a little simpler for you} This last gift guide will hopefully help you in a crunch; here's my UNDER $25 gift guide!

For the Fashionista: west elm // anthro
For the Coffee Lover: c. wonder // urban outfitters
For the Wine-O: world market
For the Decorista: anthro
For the Organizer: j. crew
For the Homebody: nordstrom // anthro

Still stumped? Check out my other gift guides:

Shop the Gift Guide:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gift Guide for Her

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Hows that Christmas shopping going? I'm so happy to say that I'm almost done and I'm surprised I'm so on top of it this year! Usually, I'm the biggest procrastinator but this year I'm making that change and I'm so happy about that. I have been at the mall here in Charlotte a few too many time in the past few days, at the apple store {not even gift shopping ugh!} but let me tell you... this is a warning to stay away. I wouldn't touch the mall with a ten foot pole right about now it's THAT busy. 

Well, if you're anything like me and can't really handle those busy crowds this time of year then you're most likely appreciative of the online gift guides that are surfacing from stores and bloggers all over. And if you've missed the other ones you can check them out here; Gal Pals // Hostess // Him I've had a few people contact me asking for help on what to get the girls. You would think that girls would be easy to shop for, especially if you are one.. mom, aunt, cousin, sister, maybe you're still looking for that perfect gift for your coworker or best friend. No worries, because we're covering that today! {stay tuned for next week's last post for the gift guide series: gifts under $25}

Shop the post:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Marsala Moodboard

Moodboard Monday - Pantone Color of the Year 2015 - Marsala

Last Thursday the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year was announced. Do you remember last years color of the year? My excitement hit a new level when I found out that the 2015 Color of the Year was one of my favorite fall/ winter colors {and of course my friends knew I was going to be excited about it's announcement too since a few of them were sharing the articles with me} Don't be fooled, this isn't your basic cranberry color. Marsala is best described as a naturally robust and earthy wine red. Read all about the 2015 Color of the Year here, and I really loved this article, here. What are your thoughts on the new color of the year?

Check out the past colors:
Pantone color of the year 2015
via Sephora Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gift Guide for Him

It always turns out that the most difficult people to shop for on my Christmas list are my parents. We're a very simple family, and now that they've been empty nesters for a while now they live by the motto "If we have each other during the holidays, thats all we need" Shopping for their gifts this time of year is never an easy task. First, we'll cover dad. Since my dad is a kid at heart, loves his beer and also happens to be a great cook, I'm going to assume that most of these gifts can double as the perfect gift for a boyfriend, husband, uncle or even brother. I would share more specifics on what I actually got him this year, but he's probably going to read this.. hi dad! So we'll save that for later.

For the beer lover:
beer making kit // personalized beer flight // personalized bottle opener
For the cook:
canvas tool apron // tortilla maker
barware + tray set // watch box // copper mugs // whisky stones

Shop my picks for him:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

9 Ways to Use Metallic This Christmas

ways to use metallic decor for the holidays - christmas

It's that time of year again! The holidays are here... I know I said that last week {and probably the week before} but they are really here now! Thanksgiving was a much needed time for relaxing and spending some quality time with family and now December is here and it's time to decorate! And what more do I love than to decorate. I'm so excited to have my own christmas tree this year, posts on that and all of the fun things I'm planning for the holidays will be up soon! But for now, how about a few ideas on how to use metallics in your home this Christmas/ Holiday season? Here are 9 great ways to use metallic this year:

1. Prop Gifts - Don't leave the underneath of your tree bare until Santa comes to town, wrap a few unwanted boxes with some pretty metallic paper and ribbon and set them right underneath the beautiful tree for display.

2. Table Settings - Having the table set nicely isn't only for fancy dinners and get-togethers. Set a few place settings for some  added decoration in the dining room or kitchen and add some metallic chargers or ribbon around the plates.

3. Pinecones - Pinecones are easy to find up and down the holiday aisles this time of year. Grab a can of metallic spray paint and you could use a handful these in a vase for display or string them to some twine for a garland.

4. Candleholders - Candleholders are easy to find especially when they don't need to be a specific material or color. Spray painting different shapes and sizes will bring in the metallic and bring in a unique touch to your holiday decor. Add different size white candles to each for added contrast. {See here, here, and here}

5. Ornament Displays - Mixed metallic ornaments or ornaments that are spray painted metallic colors - doesn't matter which. Lay them out randomly in a tray or vases to put on display. This would be great for a coffee table or dining table.

6. Wreath - The easiest way to bring metallics into a wreath during the holidays would be with ornaments. You can add them to a traditional wreath with greenery or create a handmade ornament wreath if you're up to the task! {super easy tutorial here}

7. Tree Ornaments - Add some metallic ornaments to your Christmas tree this holiday. This is a little more of a traditional approach but still brings that metallic splash into your home!

8. Stockings - Stockings come in all different colors materials and sizes now. Whether you want to branch out from the traditional red and white and get creative or just add a metallic monogram to it - this is another easy way to add some metallic to your space.

9. Votive Centerpiece - Like the candleholders, you can find an arrangement of votives that are already metallic and scatter them across a table as a centerpiece or find a random variety of glasses and glass vases and spray paint them metallic to all match. Tea light candles are easy to find (and buy in bulk) so you can spend a little more on the glasses and create a fun spread.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday

cyber monday shopping

Happy Cyber Monday! Personally, I like this day of shopping steals and deals much more than black friday. All you have to do is just open up that laptop and sit right down on your sofa with a blanket and some hot coffee....and shop. {you can even shop right from your office at work... but we'll keep that between us} Wherever you are today, You don't want to miss these steals! Let's get to it shall we?

1. Gazelle Bookends // 20% off // code: GIVETHX
2. Velvet Cushion Cover // 30% off & Free Shipping // code: 2896
3. ABD Mug // $5 off // code: CYBERMON
4. Kate Spade Book // 30% off // code: CYBER30
5. Minted Print // 10% off & Free Shipping // code: SUPERDUPERSALE
6. Glitter Coasters // 30% off // code: CYBER30
7. Metal Basket // 30% off & Free Shipping // code: 2896
8. 'Eat Cake' Mug // 30% off // code: CYBER30

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday {Home Decor Deals}

black friday sales

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is having a great holiday and enjoying time spent with family and friends. Who's ready for Black Friday? It's the day that shopaholics everywhere dream of and let me tell you, there is a great line up this year. I've been seeing the best of the best for sales this year! Here's the ultimate home decor line up to get the most bang for your buck!

Details: Online & In-Store // up to 70% off select items // no code needed // ends 11/29 11:59pm

Design Darling
Details: Online // 20% off everything // code: MANYTHANKS // ends 12/1 11:59pm

West Elm
Details: Online & In-Store // up to 25% everything // code: SUPERSALE // ends 11/30 11:59pm
Details: 10% off $100+ // 15% off $250+ // 20% off $500+ // 25% off %1000+

C. Wonder
Details: Online & In-Store // 40% off everything // no code needed // ends 11/29 11:59pm
Details: Free Shipping on orders over $100 // no code necessary

Zinc Door
Details: Online // 20% off everything // code: GIVETHX // ends 12/1 11:59pm

Crate & Barrel
Details: Online & In-Store // 15% everything // code: SAVE15 // ends 12/1 11:59pm
Details: Free Shipping on orders over $49 // no code necessary // some exclusions

Details: Online // 25% off everything // code: HOLIDAY25

Shop some of my favorites below:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Get the Look

thanksgiving table setting
via Apartment34

Who's ready for Thanksgiving!? I know I am! I'll be heading a little north to the DC area to spend this holiday with my family! I can't wait to see everyone and celebrate the time we have to spend together. Even though I'll be away from my home this holiday, I'll be dreaming of this table top in my sleep... isn't it just so perfect? I know we're getting down to the wire here on the Thanksgiving deadline but if you are a last minute guru like I am, then now is your chance! Gather your shopping list from all of the shoppable links below and head on over to your local Target & West Elm to snag up the prettiest tabletop for Thanksgiving dinner! Dress your tabletop to impress!
thanksgiving table setting items

Shop the look:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

I've been obsessing over setting the table for thanksgiving and entertaining for the holidays lately... Prepare yourselves for a whole lot of entertaining posts coming up! It's acceptable because of the holiday season right? Well, tis the season so let's kick it off with some of my favorite Thanksgiving tables capes I've been seeing on Pinterest lately. And if you missed my holiday drink recipe yesterday, check it out here - You don't want to miss out on this one!






Thursday, November 20, 2014

Toasting the Holidays

festive holiday drink recipe

Holidays like Thanksgiving call for family & friends. And what's a better way to spend some time celebrating and being thankful for all you have than doing it while enjoying some holiday drinks? This is probably the easiest holiday drink I've ever made {besides a mimosa} but it's pretty much like a holiday mimosa which is even better! I discovered this drink at Nan & Byron's in Charlotte and I just had to know their secret! I was so surprised, but even more excited to find out just how simple it was that I could do it myself! I'll definitely be taking this recipe home for the holidays. Who's ready to pop some bubbly and get to toasting the holidays with friends and family?

What you need:
1. Your favorite Prosecco
2. Sparkling Cider {this is optional for the non-drinkers and the little ones}
3. White cran juice {i used white crane peach & it was delicious!}
4. Dried Cranberries
Bar Items:
5. Glass vase for juice
6. Tag to label the juice
7. Champagne Flutes {love these}
8. Mini Bowls for fruit & garnish {similar}
9. Spoon
10. Tray for displaying items
Check out the Bar Cart Pictured, here.
festive holiday drink recipe

2 parts prosecco
1 part white cran juice
Top with dried cranberries for garnish
Hint: the bubbles from the prosecco will make the cranberries dance up and down through the champagne flute creating a fun and entertaining drink for everyone to enjoy!

festive holiday drink recipe

festive holiday drink recipe

festive holiday drink recipe
Thanks to West Elm Charlotte for having me for their corporate Drink + Clink event! All products used in this post are c/o West Elm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gift Guide: The Hostess

holiday shopping gift guide

So, you many have noticed this already but I have a little obsession with gold. I'm going to just apologize in advance to anyone I get gifts for this christmas because... well, it's probably going to either be gold, or be wrapped in gold paper. Staying on the topic of gifts, today is part two of my gift guide series! If you missed last week's gift guide for your girlfriends, check it out here. As for today's, it falls right in line with Thanksgiving being next week - How convenient.

Everything you could possibly be looking for when trying to find the perfect gift for the hostess is officially at your fingertips. These aren't just great gifts for the holidays... they can be great for anytime you are attending an event, celebration or party! I mean, how perfect is this bamboo cheese board from One Kings Lane? Grabbing a gift for a hostess is always the nicest "thank you" gesture when someone is opening up their home to you. So, grab your credit cards and let's get to shopping! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trends I'm Loving

Trends are never ending. They're almost like a revolving door. Some come and go, other stick around for a while while they get big and then others come back years later for a whole new generation to put their spin on it and make it on trend again. I find it fascinating to see whats on trend and how they all came to be. Color blocking, for example was such a style of the 70's and now its back and better than ever. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite trends that I'm loving right now... and some amazing products so you can be on trend too! Do you have a home decor trend that you are absolutely loving right now?

1. Tassles - This is a trend that I'm convinced is a great DIY project. {good, bad or ugly stay tuned to see what I can come up with} but if you're not a DIYer, there's plenty of tassel items everywhere you turn now! Hello, Anthro!

2. Geodes - I know this one sounds weird... and you're probably thinking to yourself, "are you talking about rocks?" yep! Just think, agate coasters, agate bookends, even geode hardware for your desks and dresser drawers.

3. Faux Taxidermy - Mounted deer heads are no longer something that is only associated with mountain houses and hunting cabins.. These faux beauties come in all different sizes and colors. Not to mention they can be white, gold and oh-so cute!

4. Topiaries - Fake plants. Yes, that's right... fake plants. Mainly smaller ones, but they are great to add to your bookshelf or coffee table and bring a little color if you are like me and love the neutrals.

5. Cake plates - Personally, I used to associate cake plates with my grandmas house. And while I've always loved those baked goodies from grandmas, it was nothing I wanted to have sitting on my kitchen table in my apartment. Fast forward to today and I'm jut dying to purchase one!! Maybe even this one with little gold accents on it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gift Guide: Gal Pals

holiday shopping gift guide

Tis the season... To get started on your holiday shopping! I didn't think I would be thinking about all my holiday shopping this early but I went to Starbucks the other day and when they gave me a red cup a little bit of that holiday cheer went right through me! I don't know about you but I just love buying gifts and shopping for all of my girlfriends. I'm starting my shopping lists early this year to be sure that they can all use their gifts to the fullest.... not to mention that I'm a huge procrastinator and last year one of my girlfriends didn't get her gift until March. Whoopsie! Check out my favorite gifts for all of your best girlfriends this year, and of course they are great for home and apartment living!!

Shop the Post:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Army Green

This season I'm all about the army jackets. They are just perfect for this on and off fall weather in the Carolinas. Warm enough on a chilly day but not too warm when the sun comes out and it gets a little toasty. What better way to proclaim my love for the army jackets hanging in my closet, and one of my favorite shades of green by showing it some moodboard monday appreciation! Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

5 Fall DIY's

easy fall DIY projects

Happy Friday! The weather is getting colder, Sundays are soon to be spent curled up on the couch watching movies with friends instead of sitting on patios enjoying the warm weather.  Let's embrace the sun setting early and the leaves falling to the ground by spending those chilly days inside doing a few DIY's. One more thing... Most of these DIY's would also make great gifts for the holidays!

1. Gold Leaf Bowls - These beauties will bring back those middle school art days with a little bit of paper mach and a whole lot of gold leaf! Great for holding jewelry!
2. Chai Candles - Hostess gifts, dinner party favors, or even just for yourself around the house.. bring that Starbucks chai tea into the home this winter season!
3. Gold Initial Ornament - You cannot go wrong with a little gold leaf this season. Or a lot, your choice. Personalize your christmas tree with these pretty little things or give one as a winter house warming gift!!
4. Watercolor Mugs - These mugs. oh my. They're so easy I want to make them in stock and send one to every single one of my friends! They're soooo adorable I just can't handle them!
5. Polka Dot Napkins - I know, I know, enough with the gold. I'm sorry! But how perfect are these DIY napkins. You could also turn these into placemats for an adorable table setting that could double into New Years Eve!

Which one of these will you be gifting this year?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Set the Table


Just in time for the holidays... mainly Thanksgiving in my book because personally, I can't wait for turkey and stuffing! The Crate & Barrel Set the Table sale is here! it's running til 11/10 so you don't want to miss out! Grab all of the items you might need to set that table and host the holidays with friends and family at 20% off select, full price items! Check out my favorite items below.

And who could pass up on these Olivia Pope wine glasses... yes, long stems and all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

White With A Pop

In most cases, you'll find yourself stuck with stark white walls if you are living in an apartment or a rental property. Rental communities and landlords always seem to stick with the basic and bland "builders white" paint colors for every room. Which brings up the age old question... What do you do with the white walls? How do you make them look pretty? Growing up I always wanted crazy colors for my room. Since then, I've learned to love the look of those stark white walls and embrace the bright and blank canvas that comes with such a space. Check out a few different spaces that might inspire you to get creative with those stark white walls!

A few things to think about when trying to bring pops of color into a white space:
  • Don't be afraid to mix wood tones & color together
  • Don't be afraid to mix multiple colors
  • Colorful Artwork is an easy way to bring color into the space
  • Add a colorful upholstery piece to brighten up the space
  • Textiles such as rugs, curtains or pillows are an easy, fool proof way to bring in color
  • Don't be afraid to layer white on white (but don't forget to still add color!)

via The Design Files

via Pinterest

via SchoolHouse

via Riches For Rags

How would you add a pop of color to your white rooms?