Wednesday, December 31, 2008

...happy new year...almost

love this table, too- for a new year's dinner with friends. We have actually secured a babysitter and will be going out! Happy almost 2009 to you. (photo source unknown)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

new year's limbo

We're in New Year's Eve limbo as we're trying to figure out whether we will be spending a quiet evening at home with a couple of friends, or a fairly quiet evening out on the town with friends. All depends on finalizing our babysitter...whom we haven't heard back from. Regardless- I'm envisioning a peaceful night one way or another. I love this image from Skona Hem..would love to have a set-up like this.

almost moving on...

Our christmas tree is down as are our decorations. But for some reason I'm having a hard time moving on from the season! This is the last holiday post, I promise. 

But I couldn't resist this (via unpretentious style). I'm a sucker for any story that pulls on the heart strings. Apparently this one wreath company has donated thousands of wreaths to Arlington memorial each year. Makes me want to get my wreath from them this coming christmas. Click here to read the full story.

Monday, December 29, 2008

hable construction stockings

I'm still buzzing after running into power couple Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman while picking up lunch this afternoon. And yes- she is as pretty in person- damn her

I'm also having to calm myself from all of the sales going on...including my fave Hable Construction holiday stockings. Lucky for me, we already have a mantel full of them, but I am very tempted by the dog bones motif for my two labs. Their shipping prices are ABSURD however, so for the time being, that's keeping me in check. 

They have a great new feature on their site called 'design your mantel.' Just click and drag stockings from their selection to see how they will look together. It's fun to play around with, even if you don't buy. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

thayer allyson gowdy

Love, love, love the work of Thayer Allyson Gowdy. Her pictures of the peanut butter and pencils show just how a great photographer (and stylist) can elevate the ordinary to something spectacular. When I looked through her portfolio, I realized she photographed one of my all-time favorite weddings- Lena Corwin's!

Her website has a supercute I 'heart' theme...reminds me of the great bag Joanna posted about when she got engaged. Check it out here.


I've always considered myself a grateful person. Grateful for the family and friends in my life. Grateful for the opportunities I've had. But for the past 3 years on December 28th, I've considered myself particularly grateful. My husband, his family and I were all in a bus crash in Costa Rica while on Christmas vacation in 2005. If it weren't for the physical scars that remind me that it really did happen (and the photos taken by the press), I would almost think it was just a vivid, bad dream. 

That's me on the top photo, after being extracted from the wreck, the rescue workers attempting to remove me in the middle (I was underneath that bus!) and my husband on the bottom photo in the blue arm splint. If I ever get really frustrated with him, all I have to do is take a look at that one to give myself some perspective. After getting out from under that thing, I kept repeating over and over and over to my rescuers, 'gracias.' 

I hope in these trying times we can mentally strip away all of the things that really don't matter and focus on the ones that do. I'm thankful this year to have a healthy son that I adore, a roof over my head (albeit with a tree-punctured hole), a loving group of family and friends, and a job that I love. 

Gracias to you for joining me this year at Party Perfect. I'm looking forward to another great one with you in 2009.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas at Gen's

Gen had a little soirée at her beautiful mod log cabin yesterday. Unfortunately, the level of natural light was not great- so the pictures are a tad blurry, but you still get a sense of the setting. It was so fun to have all of the kids and good friends together. Everyone was in a festive mood! I hope you are enjoying your time off with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry christmas

I'm off for a couple of days. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and your family!

images via the style file

Monday, December 22, 2008

out and about with Allison: getting merry!

Allison sent me this great party just in time before I signed off for the holiday. 

In Allison's words, "Just went to my friends' Amy (of Sideshow Press) and David's holiday party last weekend. So very festive, their house was so warm and inviting: complete with a tinsel tree decorated with old ornaments, feather wreaths (Amy's mom made magnolia/ pheasant feather wreaths taken from their Christmas tree farm in Mississippi....they looked phenomenal and hung on every window! very resourceful too). Of course the food did not disappoint, a complete spread of wonderful party food: yummy stuffed dates, backyard bbq with jars of sauce given out as party favors at the end of the evening, beautifully iced cookies in every color and shape. I could go on and on about the food! With so many people scaling back this Christmas it was so wonderful to be welcomed into the home of such dear friends and celebrate the season. It certainly puts you in the mood for the Holidays! I love the photo of Amy and David's son, Otto, with his first beer...I believe he mistook it for his own bottle...oops, the holidays have that way of making everyone merry!

Thanks for the wonderful photos Peter Frank certainly captured the spirit of the holidays and the Pastre home. Happy holidays to all!"

Thank you, Allison- for once again sharing a great party with us. For two other fun parties I've run across, look here and here

holiday odds & ends

I'm starting to wrap up this week's posts and am left with an odds & ends pile of 'stuff', that I can't bear not to post - simply to archive them, if nothing else.

My all-time fave Christmas tree via MS Kids; lovely pom-pom ideas via Black Eiffel; advent calendar and gift tags from my friend Brooke; super creative ideas for the Charley Harper puzzles at Old Navy via Creature Comforts; jingle garland, deer placecard box and cellophane wreath from Design Sponge; vintage holiday party pic (with hilarious commentary) via Peak of Chic.

vintage photo cards

I was flipping through some of my husband's old baby albums the other day, and ran across these vintage Christmas photocards. Apparently there was one variation- candy cane horizontal or candy cane vertical! I don't know why I thought this was a new funny to see these from the late 70's.

more garlands...

There's a great garland collection from Flickr via Desire to Inspire. Click here to see many more! photo by alexandra mason

more handmade gifts...

More handmade/homemade goodies via inchmarkblack eiffel, eddie ross and parcel post.

handmade gifts

Do you have friends that you are in awe of? My friend, Miller, is one of those people. She's a mother of 3 girls under the age of four, and yet somehow managed to make Christmas gifts for friends. This year she delivered a belated birthday gift for my son, Gram...a freestyle hand-embroidered American Apparel tee (we love it!). She also decoupaged a picture of her girls atop a simple red box, filled with holiday m&m's. It's a simple, but really lovely, idea. Of course...I have no willpower, so the candy is already gone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

holiday centerpieces and table settings

I can hardly believe we are less than 4 days away from Christmas! Where has the time gone? I'm scrambling to get all of my holiday-inspired posts out before we hit the big day. 

Setting the table for a holiday gathering is sometimes a last-minute affair. I've chosen the above settings because they are all both beautiful and achievable.

From top: Once Wed is doing a fantastic series of table-setting ideas (top six photos). Remember the lovely Victorian table from earlier that was a favorite? I'm currently in love with the owl and bird from the 'kitschy' wedding and the paper doily chandelier. Remember: wedding ideas can easily translate to everyday entertaining as well!

Remaining photos: candlelight table from Pure Style; apple tiers from Frolic (not really a holiday photo, but I think this can be done for a festive table as well); deer-inspired setting by emma's designblogg; bubblegum in glass container from Eddie Ross; candy-cane urn via Desire to Inspire; white table setting from Cookie...look closely- there are amazing milk container tealight 'houses'.