winter

to love & be loved – glittering gold engagement party

On New Year’s Eve 2015 I co-hosted, along with seven other fabulous women, an engagement party for one of our favorite couples. The happy couple got engaged in early Fall and happens to be comprised of my lovely co-author Krista and her boy, Chase.

We all consider Krista to be one of the loveliest women that we know. She is kind, loyal, a realist and always by our sides. She is the one we can always count on and always the one to celebrate us in her perfect way. So we knew that we needed to go all out, for not only her but Chase too because he is equally special to us and makes Krista oh so happy, which is really what matters….

So here is a look below at our NYE party to celebrate the future Mr and Mrs Millemann!

decor

You know the saying “less is more.” Well in this case we went for “more is more.” More balloons, more glitter, more gold, more flowers, more votives, more candles, more tulle, more golden ducks, more, more, more. It was New Year’s Eve after all and we were celebrating our of our all time favorite couples…

Since this party wasn’t only about Krista with all the gold and glitter, (Chase, you matter too!) I took on the task of making as many gold origami ducks as possible to decorate the room since they are both avid Ducks. Go ducks!

We were fortunate enough to rent out the “back room” at ZINC for the evening (side note: if you are looking for a phenomenal party spot to rent out in Ketchum, this is your room!). We decked out the perfectly neutral room in the following:

  • 150+ handmade gold origami ducks
  • gold origami duck entry
  • gold and white balloons with hanging “goldilocks”
  • gold votives
  • white flowers (hydrangeas and calla lilies)
  • gold glitter tulle
  • NYE party hats
  • homemade shot skis (more details below!)
the gilded room

the gilded room

the entrance to the room

the entrance to the room (huge shout to my always willing mother for stringing the ducks together!)

go ducks!

go ducks!

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obviously more is more

obviously more is more

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you can never have enough ducks

you can never have enough ducks

tulle + ducks + white flowers

tulle + ducks + white flowers

a new year's eve party isn't complete without party hats!

a new year’s eve party isn’t complete without party hats!

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an "M" for the future millemanns

an “M” for the future millemanns

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so much gold, so much glitter, so much tulle

so much gold, so much glitter, so much tulle

custom shot skis

custom family shot skis

Krista’s brother, Drew, and I made these custom shot skis for the happy couple to keep FOREVER! We gathered a retro ski that belonged to both of their fathers and went to work. Drew used a drill press to make custom holes in both of the skis that fit glass shot glasses. I then painted each one with a black rectangle and wrote the family name and their parent’s wedding anniversary. I shed a few tears and essentially Drew did all of the work while I simply played with the puppies…

Cheers to the prettiest shot skis of all time!

tulle makes for the best bows

tulle makes for the best bows

the "detwiler" ski

the “detwiler” ski

the "millemann" ski

the “millemann” ski

all lit up

all lit up & ready to party!

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menu

Since it was NYE and celebrating Chase and Krista, we knew we needed a plethora of delicious food. We decided to go with some healthy, comfort food catering from the Haven as well as order quite a few flat breads from ZINC. We additionally supplemented with a few cheese plates and desserts (since you can’t go wrong with more of either of those!) Our spread included:

  • pigs in a blanket
  • sautéed brussel sprouts
  • chicken skewers
  • antipasto platter
  • crostini platter
  • assorted flatbreads
  • cheese plates
  • homemade popcorn
  • gluten free cookies
  • local beer, red wine, white wine and of course champagne!
the spread

the spread

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copious amounts of cheese & classy pigs in a blanket – what more do you need?

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gluten free cookies (a single cookie monster ate about 85% of them throughout the party…)

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the company

You know a couple is truly loved when you receive a quarter more RSVPs for an event than expected. Friends and family came from near and very far (shout out to Mendoza coming from LA and Chris and Katja from Bend!) to celebrate and smother Chase and Krista with love. The company at this party was truly an outstanding group of brilliant, fun loving and good hearted people. The type of people you want to party with every night.

Cheers to Chase and Krista!

the future mr & mrs millemann

the future mr & mrs millemann ❤

the brass blossom does engagement party

the brass blossom does engagement party

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the skenes + jenna

rach & anders

rach & anders

the bride and two of her maids

the bride and two of her maids

love this guy <3

love this guy ❤

guests from so far!

oregon family! thanks for coming from so far!

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good looking idaho people

brilliant photo angle (cred: casey hawkes)

brilliant photo angle (cred: casey hawkes)

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no words

no words

taggart & kacie

taggart & kacie

the bride and (almost all of her) bridesmaids

the bride and (almost all of her) bridesmaids

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toasts & cheers!

toasts & cheers!

the detwiler clan <3

the detwiler clan ❤

the millemann clan <3

the millemann clan ❤

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when things started to get dicey (aka even more fun)

when things started to get dicey (aka even more fun)

shot ski time!

shot ski time!

clearly i was paying attention & didn't pour the majority of my shot on the ground....

clearly we was paying attention & didn’t pour the majority of our shots on the ground….

#fail

#fail

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for the win!

for the win!

the always classy detwiler women

the always classy detwiler women + the best photobomb

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legs, legs, legs

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how any good party ends....

how any good party ends….

Cheers to the future Mr and Mrs Millemann! We all cannot wait to continue the celebrations!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — spring break 2015

I miss the days of Spring Break. A lot. However, the spring sunshine and spring break spirit in Sun Valley are infectious right now, and I’ve been taking advantage as much as a can, between work and realizing that I’m not 21 anymore…

It was a great week filled with birthdays, sunshine, spring skiing and benders. Here’s what I’m loving right now:

1. birthdays. Many people in my life celebrate March birthdays, and this week I helped three of them celebrate in unique ways — one with yummy food and some late-night karaoke, one with gold dinos and cheese fondue (blog post coming soon) and one with aprés-ski unicorns and corn hole.

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kacie making her wish

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birthday flowers for tory

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rachel, the hostess unicorn for tory’s aprés ski adventure

trying to outsmart the wind for some candles...to no avail

trying to outsmart the wind for some candles…to no avail

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gold dinos for kacie and katie’s bday celebration at my casa

birthday girls at the gold dino party

birthday girls at the gold dino party

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kyleigh making a wish at knob hill

kyleigh making a wish at knob hill

2. “have courage, be kind.” Anyone who knows me well knows that I love a good fairytale…especially one with a modern twist that departs from a little patriarchy. While I don’t know that I could say that Disney’s live adaptation of Cinderella did just that, it did enough and then a little more. It was beautiful, intentional, and made my heart sing. I watched it with my mother, who certainly made the motif of “have courage, be kind” that much more poignant. I challenge you to not visualize yourself in cinderella’s glass slippers watching this movie.

While I’m not sure the “kindness” part of my #2 applies to House of Cards, courage probably does. I cannot get enough of House of Cards, and I am already counting down the days (but how many?!) until next season. It’s my favorite TV show right now, in a very different way than The Voice or PLL. While Cinderella may be an almost role model, Claire Underwood is one of my favorite characters ever because of her complexity and strength. That walk off at the end of the final episode?! Oh em gee. While I can’t say I agree with all of her fictional decisions, I love her. Claire Underwood for President.

3. sunshine. While I couldn’t join my “spring breaking” (not actually, but it felt that way for awhile there) friends as much on the slopes, I gave my all at the aprés scene and soaked up as much sunshine as possible this weekend.

river run love

river run love

i went down backwards while taggart hauled down the hill like he always does

i went down backwards while taggart hauled down the hill like he always does

tray races

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river run

4. food for thought. I started reading an actual book — not one on my iPad — and there’s really nothing better than curling up in the corner of the couch and flipping actual pages. I’m only half-way through, but I am loving All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

great read!

I stumbled upon this article titled “Why Your Happiness Has Little to Do With Positive Thinking” awhile ago and thought it was very interesting. While I have a hard time nay-saying positive thinking, the messages of this article really resonated me. #2 on the list is my favorite and advice I try to give and follow: “Love and embrace whatever state you are in.”

5. new duds. With wedding season on the horizon, I have had an eye out for great pieces for the last couple months. Using many gift cards that I’ve been hoarding for awhile, I invested in some solid additions to my wardrobe…from Joie to Mossimo, Panache to Nordstrom Rack. Here’s a look:

rebecca taylor onesie

rebecca taylor onesie

bb dakota dress

bb dakota dress

joie romper

joie romper

some steve madden shoes I may not be able to walk in

some steve madden shoes I may not be able to walk in

some fun lace shorts from target

some fun lace shorts from target

top and shorts from a cabi trunk show

top and shorts from a cabi trunk show

6. looking back. As we mentioned repeatedly, it’s been a strange few months, filled with the ultimate highs and lows. It was fun to look back over the past months of photos on my phone today. Life goes on, and I’m more thankful than ever for my friends, family and beautiful surroundings. In many ways, I’m feeling more alive than ever, and I can’t wait for a glorious spring and unforgettable summer. Life is good.

depth-of-winter hike with my cousin

depth-of-winter hike with my cousin

boise escape with rachel before seeing the worst movie of all time

boise escape with rachel before seeing the worst movie of all time

beautiful evening walk in the dog park

beautiful evening walk in the dog park

valentine's day with all kinds of couples

valentine’s day with all kinds of couples

par par and a much bigger stick...just as I slipped and got a concussion

par par and a much bigger stick…just as I slipped and got a concussion

skiing on dollar with isla and drew

skiing on dollar with isla and drew

isla's basketball game

isla’s basketball game

a new cute iPhone case

a new cute iPhone case

a delicious recipe from the book "clean slate" by the editors of Martha Stewart

a delicious recipe from the book “clean slate” by the editors of Martha Stewart

a housewarming gift for jenna and brad

a housewarming gift for jenna and brad

himalayan salt block that we've been grilling on since christmas — they're amazing!

himalayan salt block that we’ve been grilling on since christmas — they’re amazing!

valentines all the way around the world!

valentines all the way around the world!

lovely spring tulips for mom

lovely spring tulips for mom

my mom's new cat, Henry

my mom’s new cat, Henry

a new dedication to eating fresh fruit

a new dedication to eating fresh fruit

I hope you have a wonderful week!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

winter whites — krista’s birthday

Exciting news: The Brass Blossom is back. It has been a tumultuous couple of months, but we are finally feeling some sense of normalcy and wanted to get back to some blogging. And we figured that a post about a celebration was the perfect way to kick off our 2015 blogging.

To celebrate Krista’s birthday this year, our friend Rachel and I threw Krista a birthday gathering at the beginning of January. Krista’s birthday falls, and will always fall, right after the holidays. It’s a topic of conversation each year, but trying to plan a gathering, celebration or even a simple get-together immediately after the holidays and New Year is tricky. Unfortunately everyone seems to be partied out….

So with that in mind I tried to match everyone’s current mood with an après-ski, winter white party. The fare was inspired by Krista and all the things she loves. Think lots of cheese, which I full-heartedly support. Here is a (very belated) look at the party!

decor

After the holidays and New Years I felt that I needed a party cleanse. I was channeling all things pure and natural and with it being the middle of winter, a winter white theme with touches of neutrals was born. But don’t worry, obviously there was some glitter and sparkle thrown into the mix because a party isn’t a party without a little sparkle…

Decorations included:

  • dusted white gumbo pinecones (spray painted lightly with white spray paint)
  • large “K” (spray painted with white spray paint)
  • tin gift tags that were repurposed into dish labels
  • gold, glittery Christmas ornaments
  • rustic wood coasters
  • white balloons
  • rustic wood birthday banner (diy post coming soon!)
  • neutral floral arrangement

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menu

Since the party was post-skiing but pre-dinner, the menu was inspired by appetizers with a Krista flare. We attempted to incorporate a few of Krista’s favorite things: champagne, cheese, some veggies, more cheese, olives, limes, the list could go on and on. I realize while typing that list that it may sound like a random assortment, but Krista has perhaps one of the most amazing palates of anyone I know and her taste in food (and to be honest most everything) is impeccable.

Nom noms included:

  • champagne cocktail with a “birch bark” straw (champagne + bitters + lemon peel + sugar cube) & an assortment of beers
  • deconstructed Caesar salad
  • veggies and hummus
  • two types of toasted brie with crackers, dried fruit and olives
  • gluten-free cheese pizza with olives and pepperoni
  • homemade white popcorn
  • mini key lime tarts (recipe coming soon!)

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idaho beer cooler

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the company

 

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Cheers to (the rest of) Krista’s new year and many more birthdays to come!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – holiday whirl wind

This holiday season has been a whirl wind. Albeit a crazy whirl wind, it has been full of fun, loves and laughs. I generally love a good night in relaxing so I have been trying to temper the nightly holiday gatherings with relaxing “activities” that help the introvert in me recharge.

1. Holiday Parties. Even though I’m definitely more of a home body, I have loved all of the recent holiday gatherings that we have been invited to. A highlight of these gatherings was a “kids” holiday party that two wonderful ladies that I grew up with threw. Everything from the table setting (with touches of gold!), the food and wine were perfect.

We topped off the night playing quite possibly the most dysfunctional game of charades ever. The theme of celebrities was very loosely followed and everything from people at the party to Harry Potter was acted out several times. Charades + “kids” party + bottles of wine + cute dog = amazing time had by all.

Although it sounds corny, I am so thankful to be surrounded by such incredible friends and family!

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holiday alumni party for the school krista & i attended

 

"kids" holiday party table setting

beautiful “kids” holiday party table setting

nom nom dinner

nom nom dinner

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best aeoli maker around and the perfect depiction of the night2

2. Family, Friends & more Friends. The boy’s mother has always said that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday since it focuses on bringing everyone together. I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment and have loved spending the recently chilly nights with family and friends.

Plus I received an incredible, new camera (from my generous parents), so family and friends have made for the perfect test shots!

love these two!

love these two!

friends & barney

friends & barney

no words

no words

3. Holiday Cards. I love receiving holiday cards from friends near and far. Our fridge is plastered with them along with old wedding invites and save the dates. I love seeing such cheer every time I look at the fridge!

This year I ordered the our holiday card from Shutterfly, which always has amazing holiday coupon codes. Our cards came wrapped up in a bright orange box and were just as I ordered! I wrapped red and white twine around each card (for the hand deliveries) and added a holiday stamp on the back and envelope for a touch of DIY.

Happy holidays from the boy, Miss Maude and I!

essentials

holiday card essentials

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coming soon to a mailbox near you

coming soon to a mailbox near you

4. Freezing Ski Days. Bald Mountain (more commonly known as “Baldy”) is our local ski resort that is quite literally in town. Growing up I took for granted the convenience of the mountain that provided endless days of fun.

This weekend I took advantage of a day pass that I can request from work and headed up to ski with friends. To be perfectly honest, I am much more of a “spring skier” when the weather is around 40 degrees and you can get a tan. So with the recent average of 10 degrees, I bundled up and put hand warmers in every space possible to enjoy a few runs.

I always forget how strenuous and incredible fun skiing is. I am making it a priority to go more often this Winter!

cant beat this view

cant beat this view – it was too cold to be gloveless for any other pictures!

5. Holiday Baking. I love baking but I really love holiday baking. I volunteered to bring dessert to all of our recent holiday gatherings. With so many festivities and Christmas I was limited on time so I made sure to keep the desserts as simple as possible.

A quick look below! Gingerbread brownie recipe coming soon!

apple spice cake with a cream glaze & fresh cranberries

apple spice cake with a cream glaze & fresh cranberries

cranberry-raspberry upside down cake

cranberry-raspberry upside down cake

gingerbread brownies

gingerbread brownies

6. Marathon Movies. Anyone who is a Harry Potter fan already probably knows, but there was an epic Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family this weekend. I happen to think movies are just that much better when they are on TV. I intermittently watched from start to finish and enjoyed every second of the Harry Potter mania!

Even the boy got addicted and refused to unload the dishwasher so he could watch. He is lucky I love Harry Potter…

hogwarts christmas

hogwarts christmas – so magical (pun intended)

taylor brass

brass blossom

quintessential christmas recipe — fondue for four

Cheese is my favorite food, period. Goat cheese, cheddar cheese, brie cheese, burrata cheese, I don’t discriminate.

A boiling pot of cheese mixed with champagne, garlic, lemon juice, some more booze, and pepper? My heaven. What’s more is you can dip anything — healthy or not — into the cheese and it’s instantly more delicious. Fondue makes for a social meal, and you may even get some action — our household rule is that if you lose what you’re dipping in the pot, you owe the person to your left a smooch. This recipe is super easy to multiply, so it makes for a great group dinner paired with a big green salad.

With the holiday season upon us, we had my dear cousin, Anna, and her husband, Robert, over for one of my all-time favorite winter meals. I highly recommend enjoying some fondue at The Ram or the Roundhouse in Sun Valley this winter season…or, making your own!

Here’s a look at my mom’s incredible recipe, with some minor tweaks.

servings

 

4

prep:cook time

 

30 minutes

ingredients

 

  • 20 oz. gruyere cheese, grated (any kind goes…unfortunately, the more expensive, the more delicious. it takes about three packages to get the job done for four people)
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice from one large lemon
  • 2/3 cup champagne or white wine
  • 3 T kirsch (cherry liqueur…there’s no reason you’d ever have this in your cupboard except for this recipe)
  • pepper to taste

instructions

 

  1.  Mix the grated cheese with the cornstarch in a bowl.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir often. Heat all ingredients until the fondue begins to thicken, stirring often.
  3. Add pepper and more of any ingredient to taste.
  4. Serve hot — ideally in a fondue pot — and enjoy with cubed baguette, green apples, veggies and sausage.
fondue

I couldn’t decide on the gruyere cheese, so I got a few different kinds

delicious prosecco that's also fun to drink and (not so delicious) kirsch, cherry liqueur

delicious prosecco that’s also fun to drink and (not so delicious) kirsch, cherry liqueur

grated cheese mixed with corn starch

grated cheese mixed with corn starch

a nice assortment of dipping options, including gluten free bread

a nice assortment of dipping options, including gluten free bread

chicken apple sausage, or a spicier sausage like this jabañero sausage, is really delicious to dip in fondue — I recommend browning it well before serving

chicken apple sausage, or a spicier sausage like this jabañero sausage, is really delicious to dip in fondue — I recommend browning it well before serving

once the bottle is open...you may as well finish it! with some pomegranate arils for an extra pop of color and flavor

once the bottle is open…you may as well finish it! with some pomegranate arils for an extra pop of color and flavor

fondue ready for dinner

fondue ready for dinner

sterno ready to do its job

sterno ready to do its job

all the trappings for a delicious meal!

all the trappings for a delicious meal!

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the perfect bite

the perfect bite

delicious plate

delicious plate

anna digging for the best part — you can't let any go to waste, it's too good!

anna digging for the best part — you can’t let any go to waste, it’s too good!

looks weird, but this is the best part — the toasted cheese that sticks to the bottom of the pot

looks weird, but this is the best part — the toasted cheese that sticks to the bottom of the pot

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

second annual “friendsgivemas”

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Last year Krista and I hosted our first annual Friendsgiving, which was incredibly fun and delicious. We invited a group of friends, cooked a turkey (which was done four hours early…) and enjoyed a hilarious evening!

We knew that we needed to host another fun-filled friend evening but we couldn’t find a time in November to hold our second annual Friendsgiving, thus “Friendsgivemas” was born. Friendsgivemas = friends + Thanksgiving + Christmas!

A look below at our second annual “Friendsgivemas”!

menu

For the menu we strayed from the traditional Thanksgiving fare as we figured most everyone would be ready for a change from turkey. We provided the meat and vegetables, mashed and scalloped potatoes and dessert!

Guests were asked to bring a side, appetizer or drinks to share.

DRINKS:

  • Ginger ale, gin & lime cocktails topped with cranberries and a cute red stripped straw for drinking (with us both being a bit under the weather this cocktail hit the spot!)
  • Assorted wine, beer & Fireball (a party isn’t a party without a little Fireball)
ginger ale, gin & lime cocktail

ginger ale, gin & lime cocktail

APPETIZERS:

  • Amazing cheese plate provided by Anna (anyone who can throw together a cheese plate like Anna can is a keeper)
  • Parmesan pull aparts by Anna (Krista’s recipe)
  • Mini tarts with cream cheese, asparagus and salmon by Abbey
  • Homemade meatballs by Sagen
  • Homemade Empanadas with pheasant, potatoes, and morel mushrooms glazed prior to baking to add the perfect browned color and texture by Ryan
appetizer spread

appetizer spread

incredible cheese plate by anna

incredible cheese plate by anna

homemade empanadas by ryan

homemade empanadas by ryan

MAIN COURSE:

All of the food was incredible. It was so incredible in fact that we were didn’t capture a picture of the amazing spread…

  • Fourteens pounds of beef chuck roast from Wood River Ranch (post coming soon as the ranch, recipe and resulting meat were amazing!) by me and Krista
  • Vegetarian and regular scalloped potatoes by Krista
  • Mashed potatoes by Krista (mashing provided by Chase)
  • Wild mushroom and butternut squash bread-pudding by Rachel (literally to die for! recipe here)
  • Butternut squash risotto by Abbey (another incredible side!)
  • Asparagus by Tory
  • Side salad by Sara (with locally grown lettuce)
wood river ranch chuck roast (post featuring the ranch and recipe coming soon!)

wood river ranch chuck roast (post featuring the ranch and recipe coming soon!)

carving the chuck roasts

carving the chuck roasts

scalloped potato ingredients

scalloped potato ingredients

DESSERT:

  • Individual pumpkin cheesecakes with a gingersnap crust topped with a frozen whipped cream winter shape (post coming soon by Taylor!)
individual pumpkin cheesecakes in mason jars topped with a festive cupcake liner

individual pumpkin cheesecakes in mason jars topped with a festive cupcake liner

frozen whipped cream toppers

frozen whipped cream toppers

decor

Adding the holiday of Christmas to the mix really opened up the decorating opportunities. To keep things as simple or as “simple” as we ever make anything, we started with a color scheme of red, gold and neutrals.

TABLE:

For the table, we compiled a hodgepodge of place-mats, napkins and burlap table runners. Our seating was a bit tight so we swapped the table runners and place-mats. We placed the burlap runners down each side of the table and the plates directly on top of the runners with the place-mats in the center.

Doing this upped the “family style” of the meal and allowed us to squeeze in a few more settings!

the long table

friendsgivemas table

table setting

table setting

To accessorize our table we went with gold bells and ornaments, pomegranates, cranberries, pine-cones and candles, all keeping with our overall color scheme. We had most of these already and simply purchased the pomegranates and cranberries at our local market and the bells nearby!

bells, pinecones & cranberry candle votives

bells, pinecones & cranberry candle votives

cranberry candle votive

cranberry candle votive in a mason jar

To each setting we added a name tag. I bought the tin (maybe?) gift tags at Huck & Paddle and wrote on them with a chalkboard pen. They are perfect for name tags or gift tags!

rustic name tag to mark each setting

rustic name tag to mark each setting

cute little bag from huck & paddle that the tags were wrapped up in after purchase

cute little bag from huck & paddle that the tags were wrapped up in after purchase

THANKFUL + HOLIDAY WISH CARDS:

Last year we added a card and note to each setting for each guest to write what they are thankful for. The answers were a mix of heartwarming, inspiring and hilarious. This was a tradition we knew that we had to continue and add upon.

With scattered sharpies across the table, each guest anonymously wrote what they were thankful for as well as a “holiday wish.” We then put all of the cards in a basket and read them aloud and guessed as to who was the author. Again, the answers were incredible and ranged from heartfelt to dirty!

individual cards for each guest to write on

individual cards for each guest to write on

“BAR-CART”:

At the last minute we created a “bar-cart” of sorts out of Krista’s largest “Nicole Miller Home” trays. We pulled in a few details from the table and added cute straws, toothpicks and napkins that we picked up at our local market.

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“bar-cart”

 

PARTY GAMES:

We topped the night off with a hearty game of “Cards Against Humanity.” The game kept up the hilarity of the evening and was the perfect way to end a great night with friends!

cards against humanity

the aftermath of cards against humanity

the company

We originally planned on around 15 guests as we had somewhat limited table space. However, our guest list quickly grew, so we just kept sending out invites with the thoughts of “the more the merrier!” Having too many friends isn’t necessarily a bad problem and just a few extra chairs and pounds of beef were easy to come by!

We are so thankful to all our friends who joined us to celebrate!

so many friends!

so many friends with a few faces missing!

the brass blossom does friendsgivemas

the brass blossom does friendsgivemas (aka the hosts)

sara & ed (who recently adopted the cutest puppy!)

sara & ed (who recently adopted the cutest puppy!)

robert & anna

robert & anna (token responsible couple)

krista & chase

chase & krista (token picture taker & hostess)

the boy & me looking a bit better

taylor & casey (token shoulder ride carrier & hostess)

A FEW MORE PHOTOS FOR FUN!:

name tags

name tags

cranberries & cute straws

cranberries & cute straws

zoe enjoying the evening

zoe enjoying the evening

standard holiday posing

standard holiday posing

table spread

table spread

Cheers to our second annual “Friendsgivemas”!

krista and taylor

brass blossom

going gold — usa/olympics party

We don’t know about you, but our DVR was packed full of incredible Olympic moments from Sochi. Global glory even came local as our hometown hero and peer Kaitlyn Farrington brought home gold in the women’s half pipe.

We had plenty to celebrate, and celebrate we did with fresh American fare, Olympics inspired décor, and Sochi inspired costumes. While the Winter Olympics may not come around for another four years, we hope our little fête will inspire you much sooner!

Menu Yellow

We opted for fresh American fare, because Russian food just wasn’t doing it for us. We dined on:

BEEF SLIDERS

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beautiful plate, complete with a beef slider

  • Krista mixed ground beef with worcestershire, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and hand-shaped the mini patties. Prep these early and let them sit in the fridge.
  • To make them a bit more sophisticated, try making a super easy garlic aoili like this one, crisping some bacon, or simply caramelizing white onion in butter. We opted for store-bought buns this time but seriously considered baking them ourselves…next time!
  • Keep them in one piece with some fun toothpicks. We used international flags — very appropriate!

FREEDOM FRIES

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baked freedom fries

  • No fryer necessary! Bake those suckers!
  • Use Idaho potatoes (duh), and keep the skin on. Chop into 1/2 inch sticks, pat them dry, and toss with olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes total, tossing them a couple times during the process.

MAC AND CHEESE

mason jar mac & cheese

mason jar mac & cheese

  • We whipped up some gluten free and regular pasta and mixed them with our favorite boxed cheese sauces, Kraft and Annie’s.
  • Keep it moist and fresh by sealing the mac and cheese in short mason jars and storing it in the fridge until it’s ready to be baked.
  • Add crispy bacon on the top if you’d like! We can’t wait to try a homemade mac and cheese recipe this way.

FANNED FINGER CAESAR SALAD

finger caesar salad

fanned finger caesar salad

  • Ok, it’s not really all that American, but it might as well at this point, right? Remember, melting pot.
  • Rinse and cut off just the end of romaine hearts. Arrange layers from largest to smallest on a large platter. Sprinkle with flat-bread croutons, parmesan cheese and caesar dressing.
  • These make a perfect appetizer as well and generally please even those who don’t like salad!

ABBEY’S ROASTED POTATO SALAD

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abbey’s roasted potato salad

  • Our dear friend Abbey brought the beautiful, delicious, and untraditional potato salad. She roasted it with other delicious veggies, and there was no mayo in sight. Here’s the recipe she used,
  • Like any good cook, she improvised a little by using half Idaho potatoes and half sweet potatoes, swapped celery for red pepper, and added zucchini, cherry tomato after roasting, and Sun Valley Mustard to the dressing.

“LOW MAYO” COLESLAW

"low mayo" coleslaw

“low mayo” coleslaw

  • Coleslaw is 100% American, but we find nothing worse than a slaw smothered in mayo.
  • Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen – Not Your Mama’s Coleslaw.
  • This slaw turned out to be a great leftover and was asked for even after it was gone by a very meat-loving individual.

ROSE APPLE PIE

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rose apple pie

Decor Yellow

AMERICAN FLAG “PHOTO CORNER”

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flag photo corner

  • No America themed party is complete without an American flag! It also made the perfect backdrop for some funny photo moments.

OLYMPIC RINGS PAPER CHAINS

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olympic ring paper chains

  • To bring the rings into the decor, we opted for an Elementary School style paper chain. It was an easy, fun way to bring in all the Olympic colors and the symbolism of the connected rings.
  • Paper, a paper cutter (or scissors if you’re more patient), and a stapler are all you need!

GOLDEN USA

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USA!

  • We love gold, which is part of the reason we went with this theme. We found some super cheap stand-up cardboard letters at our local craft store and spray painted them gold.
  • We intended to hang these from the ceiling with fishing line, but time didn’t allow. We arranged them with the elk skull on the mantle instead…very manly America, don’t you think?

TABLE ACCESSORIES

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“torch lit” table

  • We purchased basic plates in red, white and blue and a fun printed set of napkins.
  • To pay tribute to the torch, we put together a rough interpretation as our center pieces including gold vases, some recycled holiday decorations from the local drug store, and some yellow tissue paper.
  • Adorable mini chalkboard signs kept our menu organized and blatantly American.

Ensembles Yellow

FURRY HATS

abbey's hat was the BEST!

abbey’s hat was the BEST!

  • When we think of Russia, we think of hurry hats. Our attendees didn’t disappoint…Their crazy hats inspired some even crazier — and arguably unrelated — ones like a moose hat and a ram hat.
our favorite photo of the night

our favorite photo of the night

ATHLETIC HEROES

gingo a.k.a cody the flying tomato

gingo a.k.a. cody the flying tomato

  • Krista opted for the elegance of Gracie Gold with a black leotard, pretty skirt, fun jewels, and a high bun. She also couldn’t resist the fur theme and donned a faux fur vest.
  • Cody make us all laugh with his interpretation of Shaun White including skinny jeans, a leather jacket, snowboard boots, and sunglasses. We always knew he’d eventually embrace his inner ginger. He also couldn’t quite resist the fur though…

CREATIVE TAKES

  • Taylor went as a “White Russian” or “Winter” with her white and whimsical ensemble.

PODIUM PRIZES

homemade medals

homemade medals

  • Our guest for the weekend, Bryn, had the brilliant idea to award a gold, silver, and bronze medal to the best three costumes. We weren’t able to find an impartial judge….You were all winners!

GO USA! GO FOR GOLD!

and as always….

krista and taylor

brass blossom