Archive for December, 2012

Top New Year’s Eve Party Accessories

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

If you love the holidays as much as the rest of us, your home is probably decked out for your favorite holiday, whether that’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah. When it comes to New Year’s Eve, however, it can be tough to decorate without being too cliche. If you’re looking for some unique and festive ways to decorate your home for a killer New Year’s Eve party, we have just the thing!

The 9 Best NYE Party Tips

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to indulge yourself in luxurious crystal, gold and silver decorations. Here are nine ways to truly transform your New Year’s party from average to stunning. These 9 ideas are some of the best tips for New Year’s Eve party accessories and will encourage your guests to have a blast ringing in the new year.

9. Decked out champagne glasses

Instead of settling for the simple champagne flutes resting in your liquor cabinet, kick things up a notch! There are hundreds of fashionable ideas to elevate your champagne flutes. Visit your local craft store, pick up some silver number stickers, and make countdown champagne flutes. If you’ll have more than ten people in attendance, just make multiple sets of ten. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, there’s truly no better design feature to incorporate into your New Year’s party than glitter. Paint some regular glue onto the sides of your flutes, sprinkle glitter atop the glue, and seal with a finishing spray to make sure the glitter doesn’t cover your guests. You can even use a stencil to initial the glasses for each of your guests!

champagne flutes for the countdown

8. Christmas leftovers!

Using leftovers in fun and creative ways is a useful part of any holiday- why not use Christmas leftovers to decorate for a New Year’s Eve party? Fill vases of different shapes and sizes with white Christmas lights for some fun, frosty lighting. Buy some inexpensive champagne flutes and fill them with metallic Christmas ornaments to use as centerpieces on your table. Champagne and gold shades will mirror a real glass of bubbly and they’ll be a great addition to your table!

7. DIY decor

Visit your local scrapbooking store and pick out cardstock in fun metallic colors and patterns. Cut circles of different shapes out of each piece of decorative paper, and connect the circles with jump rings or thin ribbons. You can leave them hanging vertically from the ceiling or hang them along the wall for inexpensive and unique decorations.

6. Update your bar

Every New Year’s Eve party needs a mix of glittery baubles and elegant hardware. If you don’t already own them, this is a great time to add some classic pieces to your bar. A silver champagne bucket (or several) to chill bubbly for the night and crystal decanters for party goers who’d rather skip the champagne will elevate the tone of the entire evening.

5. Make a trip to Forever 21

Fun clothing stores aimed at teenagers are a great way to pick up cheap bling for the night. You’ll be able to find some gaudy pieces that you can throw in a bowl by the door- everyone can choose something glittery to don for the night as a departure from their typically modest style.

Silver and GoldNYE Bling

4. Metallic touches

Fill the entryway or an alcove close to the party area with white, silver, and gold balloons! This is a classy and sophisticated way to incorporate balloons into your New Year’s Eve festivities, and it’ll keep the party light hearted.

3. The countdown!

With the advent of sites like Hulu and Netflix, many individuals are choosing to forego traditional cable and simply use services that offer more options. When you’re planning on watching a televised event, you have to be prepared and have several streaming options for the big countdown.

Hulu usually has several different options for New Year’s Eve broadcasts, whether you’re looking for a musical event or the traditional broadcast in Times Square. As it gets closer to December 31st, make a list of broadcasts that will air in your area and have links ready to go live on New Year’s Eve. If you don’t already have one, invest in an HDMI cable that will connect your laptop and computer to make streaming easy. You can even make a fun “menu” on a blackboard describing each of the broadcast options for your guests. (Or just play a New Year’s Eve movie – chances are your guests won’t be paying attention anyway!)

new years eve

2. Technology check!

To keep the party going before and after the countdown, make sure you have fun playlists created with the New Year in mind. Whether you’re a fan of trendy dance music or classic jazz crooning in the background, you’ll want your sound to frame your festivities perfectly. If you normally settle for listening to music on your laptop or small speakers, now is the time to upgrade! Pick out a complex sound system that you can use for years, or choose a simpler fix: buying an iPod docking station will make it easy to navigate between playlists at the party, and there are docking stations for every price range.

1. Incorporate New Year’s Eve into your outfit

There are great festive options for men and women out there. Wear a shirt or tie in a fun metallic color or pattern (silver, gold, or even a combination of the two). Women have a wide arsenal to choose from, but here are some fun picks for this year: wear a fun black dress with bold silver or gold jewelry, a sequined cocktail dress, or a daringly composed dress in a shimmery white or silver shade. Throw some silver bows or rhinestone hair clips into your outfit and you’re good to go!

These tips are great for any New Year’s Eve party, and they’re easy to pull off in a housing rental, so start planning your New Year’s Eve bash today!

Images courtesy of Ryan Seacrest, Sccastaneda, and Acid Cinema

Tips for Better Holiday Traveling

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

This year, estimates predicted that almost 24 million people would fly somewhere to celebrate Thanksgiving. That’s 150,000 up from the numbers in 2011, and those people sometimes aren’t moving quickly! Travel strategically this year to reduce your chances of being stranded at the airport – read on for our tips for better holiday traveling.

Everyone should do the usual to prepare for flying: stay hydrated and have snacks on hand, arrive early (especially if you’re travelling during a peak travel time) and stay up to date on the status of your flight(s).

holiday travel tips for families and professionals

Traveling with Family

If you’re travelling with your family, it might seem like a daunting task to herd your whole brood onto the plane without re-enacting a scene from Home Alone and losing someone in the airport. Some tips to help you survive the chaos of holiday travel:

  • Pack unwrapped presents in your checked baggage. Unfortunately, presents will likely need to be unwrapped and scrutinized at security. Not only will you have wasted wrapping paper, you’ll have delayed the entire security line as someone unwraps your perfectly benign package of socks.
  • Talk to the family members you’re travelling with and have a backup plan in case there are significant airport delays. Pack enough medication for a couple of days in the bag you’ll have with you, and agree about where you’ll be staying if you’re stuck waiting for a flight overnight. Know what the airline has the right to do, and what your rights as a passenger are.
  • Encourage everyone in your party to pack light- and strategically. Bring as little with you as you can, and think about where you’re packing it. It’s a great idea to bring an extra outfit in your personal bag or carry-on item in case your luggage gets lost. Most “lost luggage” will end up returned to you within a few days, but it’s nice to have something clean to wear while they look for it!

Corporate Traveling During the Holidays

If you’re travelling for work this holiday season, there are some crucial corporate travel tips to make sure that you don’t get bogged down by all of the families in the airport who are travelling for pleasure (or forced family fun time):

  • The earlier in the day you fly, the less likely you are to run into delayed flights or congestion within the airport, making your trip much quicker.
  • If you fly on Christmas Day as opposed to Christmas Eve, not only will tickets be cheaper, you’ll probably manage to avoid most of the holiday crowds. And perhaps you’ll be upgraded to business class!
  • Smart practices like checking in online and printing your boarding pass in advance are even more important with holiday sized lines. See if your airline will let you pay for your checked bag in advance- that’s a good way to minimize your time in line and get a discount.

Remember to Relax

No matter what your travel situation is – taking the clan to grandma and grandpas or getting bumped from business class on a long international flight – understand that the holidays are a time when more people will be traveling and there will be more chances for things to go wrong. So leave a little earlier than normal, take a few moments to grab a cup of coffee and a new book or magazine, and spend some time people watching while you wait to hear if you’ll be on the next flight or spending another night toughing it out. A little perspective and zen thinking can get you through it all – you’re well on your way to better holiday traveling!

Image courtesy of USA Today.

Decorating For The Holidays While On The Road

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

christmas wreath

Many people are on the road during the holidays, but not always for the typical reasons of visiting family or enjoying a yearly vacation. Some are stuck far from home in an unfamiliar city during the holidays because of a work contract while others spend much of their time traveling between multiple locations regularly for work or school. But just because a person is away from their main home during Christmas or Hanukkah doesn’t mean they can’t decorate and get into the holiday spirit! This holiday season, plan on decorating for the holidays while on the road!

holiday candles

Easy holiday decorating tips for a temporary home

While you may not want or be able to put up a full Christmas tree and string thousands of lights you can still get the feeling of real Christmas decor in your temporary home. Any one of these apartment-friendly Christmas tree alternatives can give the feeling of the season without the hassle and commitment that a live tree requires. One simple string of LED lights, a few well placed electric or scented candles, and some garland or tinsel can make any space feel all decked out. You can also buy a fresh wreath for the door or wall, which takes up very little space, requires no maintenance and can be used with existing hooks or temporary hooks. A menorah is another great decoration for a temporary home as it requires no holes in the wall and very little space; add a few more candles in nearby nooks for a cozy feeling.

christmas cookies

Subtle holiday decorating ideas

Don’t forget about the non-visual decorations that you can do almost anywhere. Christmas music on your iPod can make your temporary house feel like home for the holidays, as can the smell of cookies baking in the kitchen. Placing some live greenery around your place, like a pine branch in a vase or leaves in a bowl, can bring the smell of the holidays to a small space. If you have a fireplace find some fragrant branches to burn, like lavender, pine and cinnamon scented pinecones. Rent (or bring with) a classic holiday movie to watch and make a traditional meal to fill your temporary home with warmth, memories and great smells.

Images courtesy of Southern Living33 Shades of Green, and Food Network