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