Browsing Tag

Holiday How-to’s

Guest Post, Inspirations

Holiday How-to’s: Party Resources

If we were to hire someone to cater our next holiday get together (or any other celebration throughout the year) we’d want the very talented Dixie Todd from Connecticut-based Party Resources.  Known far and wide as the creator of unique and memorable events filled with flawless style, Dixie has a passion for parties that she’s passed down to her lovely daughter, Kate, who pens the company’s blog and whom we’ve gotten to know over the years.  It is with great pleasure that we have Kate here as a guest today sharing her tips on how to entertain with festive flair.

Introducing Kate…

What fun to be a guest at one of my favorite blogs – The Buzz.  These ladies have such great style!  This time of year is so festive with twinkling lights, garlands galore, and time with family and friends.  But it is also hectic and so I wanted to pass along a few tips for stress-free entertaining.

Setting the Mood

The very best thing is to plan ahead and the key to a memorable event is in the details.  I always do the cooking myself but usually hire someone to help serve and clean up at the end of the evening.

First set the tone – you want even your first guest to feel like it is a party when they walk in to your home.  Make a fire and light a luscious candle.  My new favorite for the holidays is THIS ONE from Archipelago.

Joy of the Season

I always make a custom playlist for a party – so make a mix of holiday classics.  Some of my favorite holiday albums include

Michael Buble’s Christmas

Tony Bennett’s Christmas Album

Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song

Beautiful seasonal flowers – go ahead and arrange them yourself!  This is a holiday arrangement I did with flowers from a local market mixed with berries and fresh rosemary.

Winter Whites

Of course you need a fully stocked bar.  But also make a tray of signature cocktails and impress your guests!  I love the cran-tinis from our good friend celebrity caterer Peter Callahan. RECIPE 

Fun and Festive

Send each guest home with a favor and even better if you make it yourself!  I like making BOOZY OLIVES


Or fill mason jars with SPICED NUTS and finish them with a custom tag.

Double Yum!

Make menu cards for each place like this one.

Holiday Menu

Even an elegant dinner can be prepared in advance.  Who wants to be in the kitchen when you should be enjoying a glass of holiday cheer with your friends?  My favorite recipe for the winter months is BEEF BOURGUIGNON 

A Savory Stew

Another make ahead favorite?  Individual molten lava cakes.  You can make them ahead, freeze them and then pop them in the oven to cook when you serve the main course. RECIPE

Molten Goodnes

I always serve champagne with dessert.  Always.

A Bit of Bubbly

Happy holidays to all of you!

And cheers to you, Kate!  Thank you for your wonderfully festive post.  Your recipe for Beef Bourgignon is our absolute favorite as well and guess what we’re serving Christmas Eve?  Our champagne is chilled, our candles are lit and we’re ready for guests thanks to you!
Photos via Carolyn Roehm, Archipelago, Amazon, Peter Callahn, Bon Appetit, Smitten Kitchen, Tumblr, Food Network, Zoon Yummy and Grant Gibson Blog

Guest Post, Inspirations

Holiday How-to’s: Design Chic

Decorating for the holidays is a must around here (though we always wait to the last minute to do so!) and we love being inspired by different themes.  While we have yet to buy a house by the sea, we dream of doing so one day and who best to help us with decorating ideas but the divine mother and daughter duo, Beth and Kristy, of Design Chic.  Last summer, they bought a fabulous antique home in Beaufort, NC (read all about the “insanity” here) and we’re living vicariously through the renovation process.  Everything about Design Chic is elegant and well, chic, and it’s a treat to have them here today!

Introducing Beth and Kristy…

Thanks so much for inviting us to be on your beautiful blog, Carolyn and Cynthia.  We adore The Buzz and can’t get through the day without a peek at what you have to share!  Christmas is, without a doubt, our favorite time of year, and this year, since we bought a house on the coast, this guest post got our minds churning with ideas for the perfect coastal Christmas decorations.  Here is a bit of our inspiration board.  We hope that wherever you’re celebrating this year, you enjoy our picks!

Christmas at the beach…  We can’t think of anything more fun, really.  The only thing that could be better than the smell of pine flooding the air is the colliding scents of pine and salt.  When it comes to holiday celebrations, being home for Christmas means being wherever our family is.  And we hope to spend more than a few Christmases with our family relaxing by the sea.  It may be a more casual celebration at the beach house, but when it comes to holidays, we’re never ones to skimp on decorations!

Cheery Coastal Wreath

Our first tip for decorating at the beach would be to focus on the front door.  A fabulous wreath is the first thing guests see when they come to your house, and a happy reminder for all who pass that this is a time for celebration!  Plus, even if you have nary a pine cone indoors, your house still looks festive!

Shiny Shell Trees

We don’t have anything against red, but we’re quite partial to gold and silver for Christmas.  These gorgeous, iridescent shells are festive, fun and undeniably coastal.  We love fresh everything, but it’s a nice idea to have accessories that don’t require water in a place where you’re likely to come and go.

Sea Star Tree Topper

Stockings can be hung by the chimney with care pretty much anywhere and are a must, must, must – even if you’re too old for Santa!  A roaring fire, a favorite Christmas album and all the people we love gathered in one place is a perfect celebration.  A soothing palette of timeless holiday accessories finishes the day like the angel – or starfish – atop the Christmas tree.

Beachy Branches

The essence of coastal Christmas chic is in its sparkling simplicity, accessories that complement the austere, cold nature outside the window without overpowering it.  A simple branch like this one is a stark yet cheerful reminder of the season we’re so happy to celebrate.

Beached Tree

Bundling up for family walks in the sand, bonfires and oysters, and, if you’re very, very lucky, maybe even a day or two of bare feet is the essence of a Christmas at the beach.  During a season that can become hectic and overwhelming, being able to get away is like learning to breathe again – and creates the space to remember what the season is really about.

Tree by the Sea

This dog has the right idea…  Lounging by the Christmas tree, the waves crashing to the shore is our idea of making memories that will last a lifetime.

However you choose to celebrate, we hope your holiday is beautiful!  Thanks again, Carolyn and Cynthia.


And a big thank you, Kristy and Beth, for sharing your chic coastal Christmas with us!  Who wouldn’t want to join you lovely ladies on the beach to celebrate the beauty of the season?  Just let us know when the house is ready and we’ll come down!

Photos via Design Chic


Guest Post, Inspirations

Holiday How-to’s: Haus Design

With so many talented and creative bloggers out there, how could we not have a holiday series to inspire and delight our readers?!  We’ve tapped some of our friends from all over the country to help with this “Holiday How-to” series and first up is the delightful Barbara from Haus Design (whom we got to meet when we traveled out west this summer!)

Introducing Haus Design

I am so happy to be here today on one of my favorite blogs, The Buzz!  We are new to the Seattle area, and new in our home, so this year will be a very special holiday season for us, full of new traditions and friendships.  I’m thinking that this December we will have a Holiday Open House to celebrate.  Notice I didn’t say *party*.  I’m not sure why, but I find it’s easier on me (and our guests) to have an Open House as opposed to a full blown party.  The difference is that people can just stop in when it works with their busy holiday schedule.  We provide a window of time when we’ll have drinks and appetizers, and they can pop in for 20 minutes or the whole time!  Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate this season.  My goal is to do all of these – we’ll see how successful I am! 🙂

Holiday Swags

I believe a festive welcome is a must to set the right one for the party.  I love the look of swags like these for a more interesting look.

Cranberry Mojito

My husband’s favorite drink is a Mojito.  I’m anxious to try this out 0 it will look so cheery floating around in guests’ hands at the party!

Cheerful Chairs

I’d love to dress up our dining room table with this type of detail.  Our dining room chairs are Danish – the sleek design lends itself perfectly to adding a slipcover and a flourish.

Elf Doughnuts

Since the kids will be coming, I want to provide some fun food, too.  How cute are these Elf Doughnuts?!

Gift Wrap with a Naural Touch

This is the Type A in me, but I truly adore when all of the Christmas gifts have coordinated wrapping paper.  This natural look won’t overpower the room and will give the tree a nice, cohesive, nature-inspired look.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Carolyn and Cynthia once before, and if they lived closer, I’d definitely love to be celebrating with them this holiday season!  C & C – if you decide to jump on a plane, let me know – I’ll have a cranberry mojito ready for you! 🙂


Thank you, Barbara, for your wonderful post –  just let us know when the party is and we’ll be there with sleigh bells on!

Photo sources and more Open House ideas can be found on Barbara’s Pinterest board here!