Tag Archives: party

Sunday, December 29 2013

Dresses to impress at Forever 21

Going to Vegas at the end of January and I need me some party dresses! Took a quick virtual stroll through Forev’s collection and found heaps of candidates for work and play — some as low as $9. The max price on this list is $35 (That’s a pair of plush pantyhose from American Apparel).

CAD $35.80
If faux leather is wrong I don’t want to be right! Love how leather is popping up in sophisticated ways, in office-appropriate pencil skirts and the like. This model also inspires me to once again attempt the hipster top knot (every time I try, it’s more cleaning-face-before-bed bun).
CAD $29.80
Everyone needs a ‘Work Bitch’ dress. So badass! And yet so chic. #midriffmayhem

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 11.10.26 PM

CAD $29.80
It’s warm in Vegas in January, right? Of course it is. This will be for day walking and shopping on The Strip.


Was:CAD $15.80
Now:CAD $9.00 (9 freaking dollars?!)
This dress has a darling crisscross back detail and I’m enjoying the sexy sleeves.
CAD $10.80
This is an ass-sweat nightmare waiting to happen; however, it’s exactly the effortlessly cool, American-Apparel-style frock I aspire to rock. I just won’t sit down.
CAD $33.80
Sweet on top, short on the bottom!
CAD $29.80
I’m years too late on this one, but I don’t care. I love this style of dress and I’ve finally found a version that’s cheaper than Thai takeout.
CAD $29.80
In real life the mixed materials are either going to look edgy or mental. Attracted by the tweed and the shape on this one.
CAD $29.80
Such a sweet lil thing! Dress it up/down, with booties, flats or heels. I could also see this working for summer with a light denim jacket and flippy floppies! #versatileFTW
CAD $33.80
More evidence I need to get one of those hats! I’m not even an animal print person and I think this outfit looks radical. The hat is magic.

All photos courtesy of FOREVER21.COM. 

Thursday, November 28 2013

DIY ideas for the last-minute holiday party

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Not everyone has a special stash of Christmas decor on reserve.

The tree, ornaments, lights and Santa’s nine inflatable reindeer take up valuable space that, in my case, is better used to store my bike safely indoors.

How then, does the urbanite throw a holiday party without holiday adornments? If you can’t convince a friend to host, the answer is through a resourceful use of dollar store paper, bows, bobbles and things you already had kicking around the house.

1. Mason jar genius

When in doubt, put it in a jar! I took dollar store berries and pinecones, plopped them in a Mason jar and sealed the lid. Done and done.

2. Fill-it-yourself ornaments

Customized Christmas ornaments are fantastic. This type comes in a clear set of six and they open up so you can fill them with whatever you want. Here I used ribbon, tinsel, bows and fabric, but the possibilities are endless!

3. Table present

The easiest way to holiday-up your house for a party is to WRAP EVERYTHING! Photos, artwork, the exercise bike and the coffee table (as seen here) dramatically Christmasify a room. And what’s more fun than being surrounded by giant presents? Added bonus: Built-in protection for spilly guests.

4. Oh, JOY!

Letters and words are still popular in decor, especially around Christmas, but wooden block letters are expensive! Circumventing spending extra cash at every opportunity, I made a paper stencil (tracing letters from my laptop screen) and then traced these onto cardboard. After cutting out the letters I wrapped wrapping paper around the face-up side of the letters as if I were upholstering. Using small bits of tape I slowly folded over paper at the back until they were all covered and then mounted them on the wall. Also, JOY is a Christmasy word, yet not exclusively holiday, so you could always reupholster with a neutral paper or fabric and hang in your room year-round.
Wrapping these tight was tedious, but not too difficult. You may note the ‘Y’ is backwards. I wrapped the whole thing and then realized I did the wrong side. Hopefully only the typographers notice…

5. I like gooooold (serving dishes)

Just add gold. Metallics are a surefire way to inject some holiday, particularly the gilded variety. I purchased gold spray paint ($5 on sale!) and these holiday dishes, (massively discounted to $2 each) and spray-painted them outside. Tip: Spray paint the bottom first, with dishes upside-down. (I did this backwards and got some ugliness on the top rim that I’ll need to sand and repaint). Also, don’t spray too much, too close, too fast, because that’s when you get drips.

6. Faux burlap, real art

This burlap art project was simple. I like the look of black drawings or text on burlap, so I purchased three dollar store frames ($1 each), and burlap scrapbook paper (on sale 4 sheets for $1), cut out pieces to size and scribbled a drawing in black pen. You could also print images on the faux burlap using a computer, or stencil art/text. I left the frames for now but I’ll likely re-paint after the holidays.

7. Mini cup paper lanterns

I first saw this idea from frankieemarilia.com and it was so smart in its simplicity. Find small paper cups, pierce a hole and put them over your LED Christmas lights. Warning, I’m sure electricity professionals would advise against putting anything over a light source, so this may just be good for a holiday party where you’re jazzing things up for a couple hours and you can keep on eye on things.

8. Name that cup

Name tags for glassware is popular, but my parties are still in the plastic cup stage, so I opted for these fuzzy snow-like letters from the dollar store that stick on to name people’s cups.

9. Burlap and candles can mix

If you’re like me and candles are just for show (i.e. not to be lit!), burlap wrapped in anything is a chic way to form a candle centrepiece. I wrapped burlap around a silver candle with some ribbon, but you could wrap berries around the burlap with chord or yarn — tons of options. If you actual want this to be a functioning candle, you could apply the same technique on a Mason jar. Wrap burlap around a Mason jar and then put your candle inside.


Sunday, September 23 2012

The DIY File: You say party! We say DIY!

party diy bunting and pinata

Photos and tutorial courtesy of Renee Elliott of recreativeworks.com.

There may be mere weeks left, but it’s never too late to throw the soiree of the summer.

Decorating such a party on a budget is the real challenge. If you’ve got friends who — God forbid — like to eat and drink, you may not have a ton of money left over for the necessary decor.

But being the host or hostess with the mostest doesn’t have to cut into your utilities bill, as long as you get crafty.

Fortunately, there’s a thrifty maven with all the do-it-yourself fiesta tutorials you require — Toronto’s Renee Elliott of recreativeworks.com.

With her homemade how-tos, you can afford to have it all, even an organic dip or two for that gluten free, free-range, vegan non-dairy friend. (You know who you are.)

Fabric bunting

What you need: A selection of fabric, piece of cardboard, scissors, ruler, chalk, bias tape,iron, straight pins, sewing machine.

1. Create a template for the triangles using cardboard. These are 5.5 inches wide, 4.5 inches long.

2. Trace out triangles on fabric. Cut out enough pieces for the front and back of each triangle.

3. Take two triangles in the same fabric and place them on top of one another with the right side facing in. Sew along the two sides leaving the top unsewn.

4. Turn the triangles right side out and use a pointy object such as a pair of scissors to push the point out. Repeat with all of the triangles.

5. Use the iron to press each triangle to flatten them out.

6. Take the bias tape and open it up. Place the top of each triangle in the centre crease of the bias tape. Fold the bias tape back down and secure it with a pin.

7. Sew along the bias tape.

Paper mache pinata

What you need: Balloon, white craft glue, water, foam brush, disposable container, newspaper, tissue paper (colour of your child’s choice), scissors, string, hole punch.

1. To get started, cut or rip the newspaper into 2- inch strips.

2. Next, mix three-parts glue with one-part water in a disposable container.

3. Blow up your balloon and tie it closed.

4. Using the foam brush, apply the glue to a section of the balloon and attach a strip of newspaper to the glue. Brush more glue on top of the newspaper to set in place. Repeat until the entire balloon is covered, being sure to leave a small hole on the end where the balloon is tied so you can pop the balloon and fill the pinata. Set aside to fully dry. Repeat this step until you have two layers of newspaper covering the balloon. Tip: You may want to place your balloon in a bowl while you are working to hold it in place.

5. Once the pinata has dried, pop the balloon.

6. Now it’s time to decorate. Cut the tissue paper into 3-inch by 3-inch squares. Apply a touch of glue to the top of the tissue paper square and stick it on your balloon surface (by placing the glue only to the top of the square a fringe effect will be created). Start from the bottom up and layer the tissue-paper squares in rows until the entire balloon is covered.

7. To hang your pinata, punch two holes at the top of your pinata and thread a piece of string through the holes.

8. Fill the pinata with candy and enjoy!

Brown bag lantern

(Not the fire hazard you would suspect)

What you need: Paper bags, scissors, sand, electric candles, *optional: decorative scissors, craft punch, cardboard letters and double-sided tape

Decorating the bag:

Option 1:
1. Fold one-third of the paper bag and cut half heart shapes along the fold. When you unfold the bag you should have full heart shapes.

2. Using the craft punch, make a decorative border along the top of the bag.

Option 2:
1. Spell out any word you like using the cardboard letters. Attach them with the double sided tape to the inside of the bag.

2. Using the decorative scissors, trim the top of the bag.

Making the lantern:

1. Fill the bag 1/8 full with the sand.

2. Stick in the electric candle and you’re ready for your patio party!

Drink umbrella

What you need: Coloured and/or patterned paper, scissors, wood skewers, glue or double-sided tape

1. Cut a three to four inch circle out of your paper (Renee traced the bottom of a large mug to make the circle).

2. Cut out a wedge from your circle (about 1/6th of your circle).

3. Place a little glue or a small strip of tape along one side of the wedge.

4. Bring the two sides of the wedge together and secure with the adhesive.

5. Poke a wood skewer through the top of the umbrella, place in your cocktail and enjoy!