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How to Prep Your Home for the Holidays

Ready or not, ’tis the season for celebrations and gatherings aplenty! Also known as, my very favorite time of year. From impromptu guests popping in for holiday cocktails to full fledged dinners complete with the in-laws, chances are your house sees more action over the last couple months of the year than the rest of the year combined. We entertain at least a couple times a month all year long and even for us the holiday season is bustling. To help you get you ready for all that merriment, today I’ve teamed up with BISSELL to share my tips for how to prep your home for the holidays! After years of always scrambling and feeling stressed when friends and family were set to arrive, I’ve finally settled on a handful of habits that make opening our home to loved ones feel so much more enjoyable. Have anything to add to the list? Chime in below – I always love new tips!

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Behind the Scenes of Our Party with Sutter Home

Back in late July you may recall that I hosted a party in our backyard with Sutter Home. At the time I shared a couple of the DIY projects, a sneak peek at the decor and the prettiest dinner party printables designed by my lovely friend Maddy of The Proper Type. Late last week the first of several videos was launched on Sutter Home’s Facebook page and I have to say, seeing that video really brought it home just how amazing an experience throwing this party was for me both personally and professionally. In a nutshell, we filled our backyard with a ton of family and friends, incredible food, an abundance of great wine and live music by John Driskell Hopkins, who is also a member of the Zac Brown Band. Then, an incredible production crew complete with director, videographers, photographers, art directors, sound guys and stylists took over our house for the day and after an early morning hair and makeup session the day kicked off and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. I’ll be sharing all the other videos, recipes and photos with you as they roll out, but it would mean the world to me to have you take a few minutes to go watch the first video, or the appetizer video as Sutter Home has so cheekily dubbed it, and appropriately so. Getting to share my life’s passion in this way and on this kind of platform means so much to me it almost brings me to tears seeing it all come to life. Click through for loads of behind the scenes photos that Alice captured on what our friends, family and neighbors have affectionately come to refer to as Sutter Home Day!

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A Garden to Table Fall Dinner Party

I sincerely love when I get to show off the parties that you guys are throwing and styling and sharing with your friends and family. I also sincerely love dining al fresco, whether it be a fairly formal meal or a simple breakfast with coffee. This garden to table fall dinner party is so many of my dreams come true. Pulled together by Becky of Daly Digs and beautifully captured by Kera Photography, it features a food-centric vibe that’s completely what my life is all about. The menu was loaded with fresh fall produce like beets, acorn squash and collard greens, all served family style in simple white crocks and on classic white serving pieces. (You guys know that I love white serving pieces since it’s so easy to mix and match!) A gorgeous gauze table runner and the prettiest floral centerpiece kind of take the show, while everything else is really just simple. White dinnerware, a touch of metallic gold, a bit of greenery here and there. And food, glorious food!

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Hosting the Ultimate Backyard Party with Sutter Home

A few times over the summer I’ve eluded to the fact that I had some big projects in the works and today I am so excited to share one of those with you! A while back the folks at Sutter Home reached out to me and asked if I wanted to team up with them to throw the ultimate backyard party. Because I can never turn down a reason to throw a good party, I had to yes, naturally. Then they asked if they could bring in live music, have a bunch of our friends and neighbors show up and film the whole thing. And again, my answer was an enthusiastic yes! Today is the day it’s all going down so you can follow along with me on Instagram Stories all day long to see how it’s all coming together and witness the fun for yourself. In a few weeks we’ll be sharing all the details right here, but in the meantime I wanted to share a bit of my planning process including some really gorgeous printables and a fun DIY project I incorporated into the mix!

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A Summer Neighborhood Lawn Party

When we moved into our neighborhood a year ago we were thrilled to discover that we had unknowingly bought a house on the coolest block in town. Our neighbors have become incredible friends and we love that they all have kids, and that they also share our family-centric yet fun-loving ways. This time of year the afternoons mean nearly a dozen kids running up and down the street riding bikes, throwing lacrosse balls and chasing down the ice cream truck. When JOLLY TIME asked if I wanted to host a fun summer party for our neighborhood crew, there wasn’t a chance I’d turn that down.

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How to Host a Chic Patriotic Picnic

With Memorial Day coming up next week, I’m getting really excited for loads of fun summer parties and picnics over the next few months. Always an advocate of simple yet lovely entertaining and parties, today I’ve teamed up with my old friends at Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza to share a few tips for hosting a totally easy yet completely chic patriotic picnic, perfect for Memorial Day or even the 4th of July!

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A Wildest Dreams Baby Shower

I’ve always been a fan of a really really great baby shower (you can find loads of baby shower ideas in the archives), but I’m especially into them at the moment since my sister is currently 20 weeks pregnant with her first baby. And with a seventeen month old toddler baby of my own, I feel like my own shower was just yesterday so, the long and short? Yes. Bring on all the baby shower stuff. When the ladies of Social Design & Events sent over this incredibly beautiful baby shower planned for one of their very own, Emily Sapp, I could not wait to share with you. Inspired by Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams video, their shared loved for plants, greenery and charcuterie (with photos by Leah Barry Photography), the ladies planned one of the loveliest baby showers I’ve seen in a long time.

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A New Year’s Day Bloody Mary Bar

This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! In our town going out for Bloody Marys is a longstanding New Year’s Day tradition to the point where some folks skip New Year’s Eve festivities entirely in order to better partake in the Bloody …

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A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays

This post was sponsored by Keurig Green Mountain®. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! When I think about entertaining during the holidays, I like things to feel really fun and special for friends and family, but not at the expense of my sanity. We have a huge family and …

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How to Host a Merry Cookie Exchange

This post was sponsored by Eagle Brand. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! Baking cookies around the holidays has a long, sweet history in my family. I remember gathering as a kid with my mom, grandmother and aunts to mix, roll, cut and bake cookies for an entire weekend …

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Our Housewarming Party Menu

This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! When we were planning our recent housewarming party, I was determined to come up with a couple of really killer appetizers to accompany the Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza that was the star of our menu. With Virtuoso’s …

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