Tag Archives: party

Know Someone Who Is Retiring? These Gifts Are The Perfect Send Off

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Know Someone Who Is Retiring? These Gifts Are The Perfect Send Off

Retirement is something that many of us look forward to as we get older. The chance to throw in the towel when it comes to getting up early every day, doing the long commute, or simply just not doing a job that you weren’t passionate about. For others, retirement is a new chapter in their lives. But, sometimes, it can be a difficult change to go through. Leaving a workplace, especially if you have been there for a long time, can be quite a hard phase of your life to experience. So, if you find yourself saying goodbye to a work colleague of yours due to retirement, you and your coworkers might be considering a gift. To get you started during your brainstorming session, here are some ideas that could be the perfect way to say good bye:

A “This Was Your Working Life” style scrapbook:

If you are quite the crafty sort, then something like scrapbook could be right up your alley. You and the retiree’s colleagues could each take a page to share your thoughts and well wishes for the next chapter in their lives. You could also include mementos like business cards, letter headed paper, logos, and even pictures from over the years of working there. The beauty of this sort of gift is that it is very personal and sentimental, and will be lovely for your coworker to look back on in the years to come.

Something personalized and fun:

Maybe the person retiring had a great sense of humor or loved novelty style gifts. This is when you can get to researching online to find more unique gifts like retirement koozies or personalized pint pots or glasses. A personalized gift shows great thought and consideration to the person and will be the perfect keepsake.

The classic flowers or a bottle of something they love:

Sometimes sticking with the classic gifts will suit your work colleague better, which is why the big bunch of flowers and/or a bottle of their favorite drink could be the best sort of gift to buy them. Accompany this gift with a card that all of you have taken the time to write in. The understated gifts can often times work the best.

Make up a retirement survival kit:

Whether you want to create something yourself or seek out a company that will provide it for you, a retirement survival kit can be quite a funny as well as a thoughtful gift for your colleague. Things included can be a balloon so that you start off retirement with a bang, a toothpick to pick out the very best of their day, and money towards the retirement fund. The options are endless, and websites like Pinterest are full of anecdotes that you can include.

A digital gift or a framed photograph:

Finally, you could make up a video send off where everyone records a message or have a picture printed and framed for your coworker. Digital gifts are great because they are always just a click away on the computer, and the time taken to get the picture or create the video won’t go unnoticed.

Although it will be sad to have a favorite coworker retiring, it is certainly something to be celebrated. Make happy memories to send him or her off with and use the ideas above to create the perfect gift!

Featured Image By: Flickr

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Falling For Food! Season & Serve Style Dinner Party

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Falling For Food! Season & Serve Style Dinner Party

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! I have a really special treat for all of you today, compliments of the absolutely amazing Melissa of Season & Serve. Melissa reached out to me in mid August with the idea of creating an incredible fall themed dinner party menu just for my readers. Food is something that I am extremely passionate about. I am a vegetarian who loves cooking, baking, and of course – EATING!! Obviously, Melissa offered me a pitch that I couldn’t pass up and a menu, recipes, and pics that are going to make you drool buckets.

Melissa has kindly linked to all of her recipes in this post, so if you are interested in learning more about her dishes or making it for yourself, then do check it out! Now, take a look at an absolutely delicious guest post:

Falling For Food! Season & Serve Style Dinner Party

Out of all the four seasons, fall is definitely my favorite. Not only do I enjoy wearing my cozy sweaters in the cooler temperatures, drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and watching the leaves turn a rainbow of colors, I love it because of all the delicious, seasonal foods that come along with it. Fall harvests bring us countless varieties of apples, squash, brussel sprouts, carrots, and parsnips…the list goes on…all from which we can make hearty and comforting foods. And what better way to enjoy these delicious seasonal foods than with a celebratory fall dinner party?!

When you think about it, fall is the perfect season to entertain at home. It’s not too hot, meaning that you can have your stove and oven going all day and you won’t be dying of heat in the kitchen, and it’s not too cold, meaning that outdoor entertaining is still possible. Whenever weather permits, I like to serve fun fall-inspired cocktails outside early in the evening so that my guests can enjoy the crisp fall air before it gets too cold. Once the temperature drops or the sun sets, they really enjoy coming inside and warming up by the fireplace, and maybe with another cocktail before dinner.

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Speaking of cocktails, I chose to serve one of my favorite fall cocktails for this dinner party, Whiskey & Spice Apple Cider. This cocktail will warm you from the inside out and totally get you into that fall mood. I also like to have a little snack to go along with the cocktail, just so your guests don’t get too tipsy before dinner. One really great idea that I recycle over and over again for parties is a cheeseboard. Because, really, who doesn’t like cheese?! I serve a traditional soft goat cheese, an aged cheddar, hearty Gouda, and powerful blue cheese along with whole-grain or seed crackers, nuts, dates, and red grapes to give it a fall twist. Plus, cheese is extremely portable, allowing your guests to move outdoors to enjoy the fall colors and back indoors again as they mingle.

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When your guests decide to move back inside, I like to bring the outdoor feeling with them, and my main avenue for doing so is through my table setting. The table setting really sets the mood for the party, and for fall I like to keep it relatively rustic and casual. I used a tan linen table runner down the center of my table as my base (This one happened to have pumpkins embroidered on both ends – so fall!) and I continue to build from there. I used some tree branches that still had healthy, plump, green leaves down the middle and added in some bright red and lime green Honey Crisp apples to make it pop (these happened to look the best at the farmer’s market that day). I dotted a few tea lights throughout the leaves and apples to add some sparkle and then anchored the table with a short emerald green vase filled with coffee beans and a tea candle. Of course, you can fill the vase with flowers, grasses, or anything that looks pretty to you!

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As for serving ware, I always think that simple is best. Plain large white plates for the main course, with smaller appetizer white plates placed on top is all you need. I added in my every day cutlery, silver forks and knives, to keep it simple but I went for some statement wine glasses. These wine glasses have been one of my greatest purchases to date. I am in love with the gold rims and the fact that they are stemless makes it even better – it’s so in style right now! I also added a personal touch to each table setting by writing my guests names on some extra leaves using a gold marker. It’s the little touches that make your guests feel warm and fuzzy inside!

Now, let’s get to the star of the dinner party, the main dish(es)! While there is a meat component to this fall dinner party, I also designed the menu keeping vegetarians in mind. For the appetizer, I chose to serve a simple Arugula Salad topped with sliced grapes, Parmesan cheese shavings and Maple Spice Candied Pecans. The salad dressing is very simple and is made from olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. With those tasty candied pecans, you definitely want to keep the dressing minimal. This recipe can be enjoyed by both your omnivore and herbivore friends. For vegans, simply omit the Parmesan cheese and add more grapes and pecans!

I also chose to serve a white wine with this salad, particularly a Gewurztraminer as it has a slightly sweeter flavor. This one is from one of my favorite wineries in Summerland, British Columbia – Dirty Laundry.

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For the main dish, I have two variations – both of which will make your appetite skyrocket. The first is for the meat-eaters, with my recipe for Red-Wine Braised Beef. While this dish looks complicated, it is actually extremely easy, relatively affordable, and looks incredibly elegant when plated (an entertaining trifecta for hosts!). For the Red Wine Braised Beef, simply brown the meat and vegetables, add the red wine, beef stock, and seasonings to the pot and bake in the oven for 4 hours. The slow baking process will tenderize this cheap, tough cut of meat (blade roast) so much that you can cut the meat with a butter knife. You can even do this the night before and simply reheat the meat before serving. How easy is that?!

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For vegetarians, I have a great substitute: Braised Mushrooms with White Wine and Garlic. I clearly have a braising theme going on here, but braised mushrooms are delicious and very satisfying! In this recipe, I use fresh oyster, trumpet, and cremini mushrooms and saute them in a mixture of olive oil and garlic until browned. I then add the white wine and butter, and cook them on the stove top for 5 minutes, or until the wine has reduced down a bit and then serve immediately. I mean, I eat meat and I know that Red Wine Braised Beef is delicious, but I would totally go for this, and vegans would too (minus the butter)!

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I chose to serve a red wine along with both of these recipes since I was looking for a more robust and bold flavor – it is fall, after all! I chose a Cabernet-Merlot mix for its spice and currant notes and for a slightly dry finish. I really enjoy this Cabernet Merlot from Sandhill Estate Vineyard in Oliver, British Columbia. This is definitely going to be my go-to wine for the season. ❤

Finally, for the grand finale, I present my Apple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze. This is actually my mom’s recipe, but it is so good and so perfect for fall that I had to make it myself. The batter is very simple to make and the cake always comes out incredibly moist due to the sliced apples inside and on top of the cake. Again, you can make this a day in advance BUT if you make it the morning or afternoon of the dinner party, your home will smell absolutely amazing. I like to serve this with coffee (hence why it’s a coffee cake) or tea. No dessert wine here!

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After this big, comforting, delicious meal, your guests will be completely satisfied and will be in a cheerful fall mood. And, of course, while these are just my tips for throwing a fall dinner party, just know that when you mix good people and good food together, you are guaranteed to have a successful dinner party – no matter what the season.

Have a happy fall, everyone! And thank you to Sarah for letting me guest blog for you!

Yum, yum, FREAKING YUM. Thank you infinitely to the author of Season & Serve, Melissa, for creating such a beautiful bounty for my readers. I want in on her next dinner party, and you guys can be, too! Melissa will be back on lifewithlilred in October with a how to guide for a spooky fun Halloween themed party. What would you like to see Melissa cook next? Would you consider yourself a picky eater? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pajama Party: My Calvins Edition

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Pajama Party: My Calvins Edition

Hiii everyone and happy Tuesday! A brand that I admire from afar but would never purchase for myself is Calvin Klein. The chic, all American designs, the crisp and put together approach to their styling – I just love it. Unfortunately, my ballin on a budget lifestyle doesn’t allow for such designer spending – but that doesn’t mean that I can’t snag some darling CK sleep shorties at TJMaxx for a fraction of the cost! Take a look and let’s discuss:

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The original price tag on the above short set was SEVENTY-TWO DOLLARS and I snagged them both for a phat twenty bucks! I absolutely love, love, love sleepwear. Nighties, pajama sets, sleep T’s, and shorts – I’m a huge fan. These Calvin Klein boxer style shorties are completely perfect for beating the summer heat with a huge T-shirt while lounging around before bed.

I’ve had my new shorties for a whole two days and am already so obsessed that I had to check the TJs website to see if they have them in any other colors. These sleep shorts are SO comfortable, breathable, and totally freaking adorable! And it does feel nice wearing Calvin Klein anything, even if it is just to bed! You can’t beat paying twenty dollars for a short set that costed over seventy smackers, that’s for sure. Another added bonus, is constantly thinking about Kate McKinnon’s glorious mock Calvin Klein ad on Saturday Night Live as Justin Bieber. #DYING

(And as always, I have no rights to this video!)

I might not be able to sport Calvin Klein on the daily, but at least I can break out my branded shorties every Pajama Party chance I get! How do you rock designer brands on a budget? What are some high end designers that you lust after? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Gift Ideas For That Sort Of Friend

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3 Gift Ideas For That Sort Of Friend

We’ve all been there. A friend-of-a-friend/kinda sorta friend has a get together and we’ve been invited. This might be a birthday party or something more intrinsically important, like acting as your friend’s plus one during their wedding proceedings.

This can leave you truly stuck with ideas for what to gift for them. How do you provide a gift that isn’t so generic that they feel like you’ve put no thought into it, but also a gift that doesn’t come across as too forward or could be taken the wrong way?

It’s likely that you’re overthinking this if you’re stuck. because most people aren’t of the opinion that they’ll read too much into what your gifts mean – they’re just happy to receive them in the first place. In order to find the perfect gift, consider trying out these following suggestions and reflecting on if they’ll fit well with the personality or event that you’re gifting them for. Take a look:

Alcohol:

Alcohol is one of the safest ways to provide a classy, thoughtful gift for someone without coming across as too forward or impersonal. Finding a convenient online liquor store for substantially good products and bringing them to the party won’t only seem thoughtful, but it could actually serve to the benefit of the party you’re attending by supplying the host with something to drink during it.

Make sure that you best appropriate the style of alcohol you’d think the guest would like. For example, wine or champagne might be received more fondly for a middle aged housewife rather than a full bottle of vodka, but this can be tailored depending on what you know about the individual. (And let’s be real, sometimes a full bottle of vodka might be just what someone needs!)

Gift Baskets:

Gift baskets are beautiful works of presentation and can stock a range of amazing products that are sure to go down well with whomever you purchase them for. Whether you’re looking for a food themed one containing charcuterie meats and cheeses or a basket filled with beauty and skincare products, this is a great way to fulfill a range of gifting items for the giftee.

A plethora of goodies in a beautiful container looks thoughtful and well-presented. This is my favorite method of gifting. What’s more, you can tailor and design the contents and presentation of your basket with the correct online service, so be sure to find one that delivers to your area and get creating!

Gift Cards:

Gift cards are rather impersonal but will allow you to provide funds for a store that you think the intended recipient would like based on their personality. It also gives the giftee the opportunity to choose what products they’d like to prioritize for themselves. For example, if you’re celebrating a baby shower, a gift card for a parental supplies store can help you seem considerate of the recipient’s situation, while not offering yet another set of onesies!

These tips are sure to impress and cover a nice range of items while keeping the balance of lack of intimacy/intent for growth of intimacy. Try them for yourself, and see how well they work!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Battle Of The Sexes: How Men And Women Get Ready

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Battle Of The Sexes: How Men And Women Get Ready

You’re going out. Maybe it’s date night, or perhaps an evening out with friends to celebrate a special occasion. Both you and your boyfriend have agreed what time you need to leave; you have to be out of the door by 8 PM/8:15 at the very, very latest.

So the clock starts ticking. *Que Jeopardy theme*

vss.pngClocks can’t rush perfection. 😉

6 PM; You: “I guess I better start thinking of what I’m going to wear…”

You head to your closet and start inspecting literally everything that you own. Of course, none of it is acceptable; a closet full of gorgeous clothing but nothing that you’re enthused about wearing. You try on a few outfits, but none of them seem to be the right look for the night.

6 PM; Boyfriend: “Oh that’s right, we’re going out.”

And then promptly forgets about it, continuing on with the task he was doing beforehand. SMH.

6:30 PM; You: “What are you wearing?”

Having finally decided on your own outfit, you decide it’s probably a decent idea to make sure your boyfriend isn’t going to clash. You track him down and ask what he’s wearing.

6:30 PM; BF: “I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest.” (Typical.)

He doesn’t panic, though. It’s pretty simple for men; pants and some kind of shirt will suffice for the vast majority of occasions. He’s sure something is clean. He looks puzzled when you mention the idea of color clashing (What does that even mean?!).

6:45 PM; You: “Getting my groom on.” AYYY

You head to the bathroom to begin the process of getting ready. It’s actually one that you quite like, so you’re happy to spend some time going through the familiar motions of preparing yourself for the world.

You shower. You moisturize. You brush leave-in conditioner through your hair. You wrap your hair in a towel (which you boyfriend proclaims to be “witchcraft, when it’s really just strategically placed tucks and folds). You’re ready for phase two.

7 PM; BF: “Oh, I guess I should shower, as well, shouldn’t I?”

Reminded only by the fact that you’ve showered, he hops into the bathroom himself and does his routine. It’s a bit shorter than yours; shower, shave, a little bit of manscaping, aftershave, and then he’s good to go. He heads to get dressed.

7 PM -7.30; You: “Primer, foundation, concealer, eyeshadow…”

You know the motions of getting ready by now and the routine is smooth and simple. It takes a while – don’t worry, even women with the steadiest of hands aren’t able to apply eyeliner flawlessly on the first attempt – but you know that you’ve got time. With your makeup done, all you need to do is put your pre-chosen outfit on and do your hair. Job done. Well, nearly.

7:30 PM; BF: “I really did think I had something clean…”

After a panicked look through his entire wardrobe, he finally alights on an outfit that looks presentable. He’s ready.

7:45 PM; You: “Are you sure this looks okay?”

Still preening in the mirror, you’ve suddenly taken wildly against the outfit that you selected less than two hours prior. (It happens to the best of us.)

7:50 PM; BF: “Yes it’s fine. You look fine. Great. Can we go?”

8 PM; Both Of You: Finally ready, you head out of the door for your night out. You might have taken different routes to get to this point, but you got there in the end and that’s all that matters!

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Looking good feeling great.

Everyone has a different getting ready routine and as long as you get from Point A to Point B on time, you can’t really complain about your SO’s totally annoying pre date night process! 😉

Cool Ways To Bring Your Neighborhood Together

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Cool Ways To Bring Your Neighborhood Together

We all want to live in a better neighborhood; it is one of those inherent wants we are all born with. Of course, what makes a better neighborhood is entirely subjective. Some may want a neighborhood that feels safe like they used to feel, where kids can play outside until the sun goes down. Others may say that they want somewhere that does its part for the earth. Everyone is different. Whatever the case, though, creating a better neighborhood is all about coming together as a team to strengthen your community. Awwww. How lovely would that be? :*)

To help you achieve your ambitions of living in a little slice of utopia, we have come up with a list of ways in which you can make your neighborhood a better place to live:

Sharing Is Caring: Sometimes it’s the old cliches that ring truest, and that is certainly the case when it comes to sharing is caring. Why not set up a community that is more geared towards helping one another out. Start up a tool library and a toy library, and, yeah, a book library too. Start a neighborhood vegetable patch where you all chip in and reap the rewards. Not only will these ideas bring you closer with your neighbors, but they’re all fun and helpful!

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So. Many. Tools!!!

Eco-Awesomeness: We all wish that we could be a little greener in our community, but buying solar panels isn’t exactly cheap, although they are getting cheaper. Anyways, to avoid the big overheads, why not pool together and buy solar panels collectively to enjoy a big bulk buy discount. As you can see at oregonlive.com this is a trend that was started by communities in Portland with amazing results.

Emergency Excellence: If you can be prepared for an emergency as a community, you are going to thrive as a community. It could be that you all chip in to buy a couple of automated external defibrillators from foremostequipment.com, or it could go even further and have a full blown emergency network in place. What better way is there to strengthen your community than to have members take on various roles, have certain supplies ready, and be prepared for the worst as a neighborhood.

Nice Nights: Building your community starts with doing things together. It could be getting together for a block party, holding storytelling evenings, serving different street foods, getting together for fireworks displays, having the children put on a theater event, and whatever else takes your fancy as a community. Whatever your summer bucket list is made up of, do it as a neighborhood. Have a calendar event that you all do once a month, where everyone knows that the second Saturday is neighborhood night.

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Partayyy

Front Yards: You are never going to bump into your neighbors if you only ever use your backyard. So, instead of this, why not move your normal backyard activities to the front and make yourself more visible and friendly to your neighbors. Sit out on the porch and say hi to everyone that goes past. Make a big jug of lemonade and invite them in. It’s only a slight tweak to your life but it can make a huge difference when it comes to getting to know your neighbors and building a better community.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Organizing Your Teen’s Eighteenth

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Organizing Your Teen’s Eighteenth

Your child turning eighteen is a big deal not only for them, but for you, as well. No matter what country you live in or what culture you live by, the eighteenth birthday is important. It is a sign that your teen is well on their way to full blown adulthood (yikes!). It is a sign that their childhood is behind them. Basically, it’s kind of a big deal. And because it is such a big deal, you need to ensure that you do all that you can to celebrate it properly. And to celebrate it properly, you need to organize it properly. Below, you can find a few hints and tips on how to do so:

First of all, you need to get your teen’s presents sorted. And if this is something that you are apprehensive about, then remember that you will always be able to find a gift for someone, no matter who they are… even if they’re a moody teenager on the cusp of adulthood. Try getting them something that is personalized; you can never go too far wrong with this approach. It shows them that you know them well enough to know exactly what it is that they like. It also gives them something to save as a keepsake from this very important birthday and look back on it in years to come.

But, as with a birthday for anybody of any age, it’s not just about the gifts. It’s about the party you host for them, too. And when it comes to hosting a party, there are a number of things that you have to consider. One thing that must be given thought is the fine balance between childhood and adulthood that is taking place. This is a party that cannot be made up of goody bags, bouncy castles, and clowns. But it is also not a party that can be made up of the more adult things of life either — whether eighteen is the ‘coming of age’ threshold in your country of residence or not. So, you need to find a balance.

One way to induce this balance is by letting your teen invite their friends over to your home and allowing them to take free-reign of what it is they get up to. However, you should always remain in the house in order to ensure that this free reign that you have given them isn’t being taken advantage of. Click here for more ideas on how to host the best eighteenth birthday party for your growing teen.

The most important thing to remember when organizing the essentials of your teen’s eighteenth is that a balance of childhood and adulthood must be procured. They are not quite mature enough to fully revel in the world of adulthood, like, say, somebody celebrating their twenty-third birthday would be. But they are not celebrating their thirteenth birthday either, which means that they are not going to enjoy or appreciate childish things. Think dinner parties, an ice cream social, or a garden party in a spacious back yard and watch your teen have the most fabulous birthday yet!

Featured Image By: Flickr