Monthly Archives: December 2013

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6 Ways How To Host A Party In Style

dear_andi_hostess_party

dress: Parker New York for Barney’s // tights: American Apparel // booties: Seychelles (similar online) // belt: c/o Nona E. Rose // necklaces: etc… and c/o Gorjana Griffin

This past weekend, a friend told me that I’m going to be “The next Martha Stewart…but with an edge.” I’ll take that, especially as I love to host a good gathering like Martha.

The hubby and I hosted a post-holiday party for a few close friends that has become a tradition, as the holiday season can be a tricky time to make plans with friends. We celebrate everything from Christmas to Chanukah and even the Chinese New Year with a menu that reflects all of that, but centered around our favorite traditional Chanukah fare, Latkes.

Just when the holidays may have gotten the best of you, there are more celebrations to be had. Whether you’re hosting a New Years Eve soiree, a birthday celebration, or even a post-holiday party, you too can be a Martha with my go-to tricks for being the “hostess with the mostest.”

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1. Create a menu and post it somewhere for your guests.

It’s helpful for your guests to clearly write out all of the menu items somewhere, so they can leave room for items coming out as they are ready. Additionally, you can use it as your own checklist. You can also leave out labels for each item on the table as well, in case you have any guests with allergies or dietary restrictions.

holiday_punch_recipe

2. Create a signature cocktail or two and make sure there are non-alcoholic refreshments available too.

Your guests will appreciate that they aren’t standing at the bar area dumbfounded on what to make.

Some sort of punch or sangria is perfect for guests because you can make quite a bit of it ahead of time. Make sure if your recipe calls for club soda, to add it right before guests arrive so it doesn’t go flat. I tend to make these cocktails slightly weaker, so party-goers don’t feel so guilty when they tend to drink it like juice.

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If you decide to make a signature drink that cannot be made beforehand, then leave out instructions for your guests, so in case you’re busy greeting someone, they can handle it themselves.

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3. Set up all of the dishes and plates for your hors d’oeuvres and bites prior to serving

It’s helpful to lay everything out prior, so you’re not scrambling while guests arrive. We even try to make as much as possible the night before so we can reserve last minute touches for the day of.

latkes_party

4. Get a head count of your guests and make enough food for a third more.

While you may have politely asked for RSVP’s on your invite, there will always be those that bring a friend without mentioning it or those that come pretty hungry. It’s always best to prepare more and have leftovers for yourself and guests to go home with. Nothing makes people want to leave a party more than one that has run out of food and drinks.

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5. Create an activity for your guests.

Whether it’s a parlor game like the ever popular Cards Against Humanity, or another group activity, it’s great to have an ice breaker or something that guests can participate in. I leave out some games like Jenga or Apples To Apples for people to play with just in case the party starts to get quiet.

It’s become a tradition for this post-holiday party to do a “bad gift exchange,” where friends can bring a gift they received over the holidays that they weren’t a fan of (like the moldy farmer’s market turnip my mother-in-law gave us…just kidding) and trade it in for someone else’s wrapped gift under the tree before they leave. The subjectively “bad” gifts this year included a kitten calendar, a heart shaped candle, a tinsel scarf, texting gloves, and the one I received and am actually excited about, paper and binder clips. It made for some great laughs and actually made guests leaving early much less awkward for them.

wasabi_cream_cheese_ingredients

6. Make an easy and unique appetizer that your guests will demand at every party

The most memorable parties are the ones with the food that you continue to talk about. My agent once made this cream cheese wasabi spread at a party and I begged her for the recipe because it was such a hit. Turns out it was ridiculously simple to assemble and now my friends are demanding it for all of my gatherings and even to bring to their own.

Here’s how to make the Cream Cheese Wasabi Spread Served With Rice Crackers.

ingredients:

1 block of regular cream cheese (low fat is difficult to work with!)
wasabi paste
soy sauce
sesame seeds
rice crackers for serving

wasabi_cream_cheese_how_to1

Cut the cream cheese in half lengthwise.

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Spread on a thin layer of wasabi paste.

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Drizzle with soy sauce.

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Place the other half on top and repeat the last two steps. Then sprinkle a layer of sesame seeds on top. Serve with a spreading knife and pair it with rice crackers.

Of course the best way to host a party in style is by making sure everyone is having a good time, introducing friends to each other and making sure that even you are enjoying yourself.

Have a happy, healthy and *stylish* New Years. See you in 2014!


3 Easy New Year’s Eve Outfit Ideas

3 NEW YEARS EVE EASY OUTFIT IDEAS
1. Diane Von Furstenberg top // Dorothy Perkins skirt //  Sigerson Morrison ankle boots  // Diane Von Furstenberg clutch
2. Milly dress // Ivanka trump shoes // Cole haan handbag // Baublebar necklace
3. Mango jumpsuit //  Shoe Republic gold sandals // Sarah Baily leather handbag / Alexis Bittar bracelet

DEAR ANDI:

I’m visiting NYC for NYE and have no idea how to dress for the party that I’m attending. Not sure if it’s fancy or not and if I should wear a sexy dress, jeans, top, etc. If I’m wearing a dress, I need to get a tan for my legs! Please help!

-Jennifer, Florida

Dear Jennifer,

As you may know by now, my motto is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed! That way, you always look like you have somewhere fancier to go and you’re prepared for anything.

In NYC especially, you can’t go wrong with wearing a little black with a little glitz and glam. With classic pieces like these, you can even wear them again and again, so you won’t fall into the trap of splurging on an outfit you will wear once.

I also follow the motto, leave a little to the imagination. With separates like a cute blouse and flirty skirt, or a fun feathery dress or even a jumpsuit, you’ll be sure to wow and impress more than the gal in the body-con dress next to you.

My last motto for the day, is less is more when it comes to the bling. Opt for one eye-catching sparkling piece—whether it’s the dress itself or your necklace. You don’t want to outshine that ball dropping.

Whatever you end up wearing, please do not go the tanning salon route if you show some leg. Opt for one of my favorite self tanners or this lotion with a bit of color that will make you beat the winter whites.

Have a fabulous and stylish New Years!

 {SHOP THIS POST}


Have A Stylin’ + Rockin’ Holiday

While I don’t actually celebrate Christmas, I absolutely love the season and how festive and giving everyone gets this time of year. Instead of sharing all of the holiday things you need to buy today, I wanted to share this playlist of DIFFERENT fun holiday tunes I compiled just for you.

I promise you’re going to want to play this compilation of music when you’re hanging with your loved ones or if you’re stuck working—even if you’re sick of all of the same dozen or so ditties you’ve been hearing while shopping. No joke, I walked into two stores, playing Mariah Carey’s popular “All I Want For Christmas,” one right after the other.

Have a safe and stylish holiday!

My Fashion Pet Peeves & How To Avoid Them

dress: Derek Lam (similar online) // vest and belt: Zara // bracelets: Baublebar and etc… // necklace: c/o Gorjana Griffin

video by Jonathan Prosper

I can’t tell you how many times people ask me what’s wrong with their outfit or what they’re doing wrong with how they dress when they find out that I’m a wardrobe stylist. I’d rather focus on what people are doing right and work with their own style—unless they’re my good friends and they keep wearing unflattering fabric headbands on a daily basis (you know who you are).

That being said, I do have a few fashion pet peeves as a stylist. If you’re a culprit of any of these, I won’t tell. You’ll have some great solutions on how to avoid them.

{SHOP THIS POST}


How To Wear A Red Handbag 3 Ways

3 Ways To Wear A Red Bag

DEAR ANDI:

I just splurged on a gorgeous red handbag (usually go for all black) how can I incorporate it into my wardrobe all year round?

-Angelique, @alabonne

Dear Angelique,

First of all, kudos to you for stepping out of your handbag comfort zone and investing in a color that you can actually wear all year round, and not to mention is a major trend this season. You’re a gal after my own heart, as I recently did the same thing.

The great part about a bag that’s red is that it can actually be more versatile than you think. I find that when I’ve been wearing a basic black handbag, I sometimes feel like I have to switch it for a brown one if I’m wearing more of those tones. This is not the case usually with red.

The first and probably most obvious way to wear a red purse is by letting it pop off of neutrals like black and white, just like this edgy ASOS black body con dress mixed with this Zara crossbody bag, or even metallics. Neutrals like these can be worn during all seasons and will definitely make a statement with your fiery bag.

Another way you may not even think to wear a red bag is actually mixing with other shades of red. The monochromatic look feels so modern right now. Try a darker red tone suit like this one from ASOS and let your bag complete the look—especially if you splurge on one like this Mulberry purse.

The most fun way that can be worn into the warmer weather is by letting it vibrate off of other brights. Red and teal is one of my favorite and unexpected color combinations, so you can try something like this Oscar de la Renta teal dress paired with this Diane Von Furstenberg red vegan handbag. If it’s in the same tone and brightness like fuscia, yellow, cobalt, etc, then it works and makes a statement.

However you wear it, make sure you protect it with a spray and keep it in its dust bag or at the very least, stuff it with tissue to hold its shape. That way, you can enjoy it season after season after season…

Send your fashion and beauty conundrums this way to dearandistyle@gmail.com and I will try to answer as soon as I can. You may be featured on the next ASK ANDI!


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