A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!! (Originally posted Dec 20, 2018)
This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend why not make it a plaid theme? If you’re Canadian, it’s been hip forever.
Plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.
I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!
What to wear?
Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)
My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).
I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know!
When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort. I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.
Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!
This year I will have a gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!
Pro Planner Tip
Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!
Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!
Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!
At first glance this post looks like it’s about baking cookies; and it sort of is. But as you read you will discovered that it’s more about spending time with loved ones. That being said, these two recipes kick ass!!
In this post I will share our grandmother DesRoches’ super simple and yummy Scotch Cookie recipe. Full disclosure, there is no Scotch in them; nor was she Scottish, lol.
We also always make peanut butter balls, they aren’t always pretty, but they are always super delish! I guarantee that you will love our balls. Scroll all the way down for both recipes.
This family cookie baking tradition started a few years ago. I invited all the ladies on my moms side of the family over on a Sunday afternoon to bake Christmas cookies; because baking cookies alone is depressing, so the more the merrier!
Now lots of people bake cookies during the holiday, which is awesome, but we had to take it to the next level. Because that’s what we do…ok, that’s what I do, but they always follow me willingly!
How do you take it to the next level? Matching aprons, that’s how. I had custom aprons made for all of us; and you can too! I think this was the key to making this an annual event; because now that we have aprons, like it or not, we are kinda committed.
Having matching aprons or hats will make you feel like team; I promise, you will have more fun if you match!
Our sassy aprons have our names on them, but you could also just do matching aprons. Or get blank ones at a craft store and bedazzle them. You have lots of apron options. I am used to ordering in bulk because of my job, but I also do it for my personal parties. I always use Kadopromo, if you are buying in bulk, go with a company who does this for a living, the prices are better!! They often have a minimum number of items you need to order in order to get the best price. Here is who I use, but the internet is full of suppliers, there is no excuse not to match! lol: https://kadopromo.net/
We must have been really good this year because Santa gave us an early Christmas gift, that will help us mix it up!! See below.
What you could do, is have a group fund, where everyone gives $20 and the head elf buys the group gift; either an apron or spatula? We have had our aprons for years now, we just order more as our family expands. It’s a one time expense, so it isn’t so bad at all.
For our cookie baking, each ma tante and cousine (aunts & cousin) bring an ingredient; it’s not fair to expect the hostess to provide all the ingredients. And don’t forget your empty container to bring some back home.
We take lots of pictures, it’s fun to look back over the years. Because we are such a big family, some of us are scattered all over the place; it’s nice to have memories of those who can’t be with us this year.
Mémère DesRoches’ Scotch Cookies
2bls of Butter
1 cup of Brown Sugar
4 cups of Flour. Yup only 3 ingredients!!
Well 5 if you add the frosting and cherry for the tops.
Combine brown sugar and butter, mix till smooth and creamy.
Once the mixture is creamy, make into small balls, a little bigger than a quarter. Take a fork and gently press them down (don’t smush, just lightly press so the fork leaves horizontal marks).
Bake 350F for 18 minutes
Add pre-made frosting, I like cream cheese, but you can do vanila.
Cut up bottled red cherries and place on top
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup of butter
2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
3 cups or rice krispies
2 ounces of paraffin wax
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt butter and while it’s hot stir in the peanut butter
Mix well and add vanilla, powdered sugar and rice krispies
Melt chocolate chips and paraffin wax
Dip balls into melted chocolate
Cool on wax paper or parchment paper
I am thankful to you for reading and I am also so thankful for my family! There is something about belonging to a tribe that tightens around you in hard times and makes you laugh, but also let’s you cry if you need to! They say you can’t pick your family; if I could, I wouldn’t swap a single one!!!
So what is your ultimate Christmas cookie?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you from me and the fam!!!
Have you ever thought, this was the year that you were going to get your shit together and send out the perfect Christmas card? You would find the perfect picture, go online and create something, get it printed and send it out to friends and family…before Christmas?
The thought was there, but weeks later, as you start getting cards in the mail from others, you realize that you have missed the boat again. Aw well, there is always next year right?
Well I happen to be an expert planner and am here to help you if you want to get your cards ready to go this year. Here are a few helpful steps and timelines to keep you stay on track!
(FYI – I am sharing my personal Christmas cards from the past few years, they are at the bottom)
Figure out what you want? Timeline: Now! (ideally before the third week of November).
You need to start by figuring out what you want? Do you want a picture of your kids, family, pets? Or do you want a store bought card? One is not better than the other; you just need to decide and since we are already the second week of November you need to decide now!
Custom – If you want to send a picture with a holiday greeting, you need to select the photo. Take a moment and go through your phone or your Facebook. Find a picture that makes you smile or that reflects a happy moment. And voila! That it, you are done! It’s that simple, you don’t need to plan a photo shoot. That could be a goal for next year? I highly recommend you not try to fit in a family photo shoot the second week of November for your Christmas Card. It will be too stressful and rushed. Give yourself a break and find a nice picture that you already have. My blog is about helping not making you more stressed BTW.
Once you have your picture selected you can use a variety of different online tools and apps to write a message on them. Or if you want a printed version you can place your order online via Cosco, your local drugstore, Vista Print…. So many options that have templates that you can use; they will print and you can have them sent to you or you can pick them up. I would allow at least 2 weeks if you are getting them printed and sent to you.
If you place your order this week, you should have them in hand by the last week of November, which is perfect! If you decide to send via email, you are ahead of the game. Kick back and relax a bit.
Store bought – If you are going the store bought route, you have a bit more time. Go get yourself a fancy warm drink; feel free to add a shot of something in it. I suggest adding a shot of Fireball to your hot chocolate. It’s chocolate and cinnamon, trust me it’s yummy!
Take your time browsing the card section alone or with a friend and select the card that speaks to you. And BTW, I said one shot, no drinking and driving!
2. Who is on your nice list? Timeline: third or forth week of November.
Make a list and check it twice. If you mail out cards, this may take a bit more time the first year, but once you have your list with addresses, next year will be a breeze. Last year I sent out text messages to all my friends and asked for their mailing addresses. Those who didn’t reply, were automatically put on the naughty list.
If you are emailing or even texting your custom cards, you probably already have all their emails and numbers, so again, you are ahead of the game. Have another hot chocolate and fireball! Mmm, I think I need a name for this drink?
3. Get them out! Timeline: first or second week of December.
If you are mailing them, try to get them out by the first week of December; if you miss the cut and send them out the second week, no biggie. I have found that Canada Post is a bit slower than if you are sending within the US. If you are emailing, I would hit send the second week of December.
My Christmas Cards
I only started sending out cards three years ago. Every year I had great intentions, but didn’t properly plan it out. And I felt that I could never find that perfect card. Then I realized; hey I work with designers who apparently can be bribed to help me! I now taking advantage of my them, I rotate so that I am not always asking the same people for help, lol. FYI, I am not a horrible person, I treat them very well! They get special treats for helping me.
In the past two out of three cards I used pictures taken at Halloween. My strategy had been to find a funny picture first and then create funny text to go with them. My Meowy Christmas is a perfect example.
I obviously don’t take myself too seriously. The following year was my first full year living in the desert, so I found a wintery, snowy picture.
I think I felt a bit of pressure to maintain the same level of cheesyness from the prior year and I feel liked I choked! Lol. My “moose” card was ok, but it was too safe, lol
I should also add that in my attempt to be inclusive, I misspelled Hanukkah, nothing but class here! Lol, my apologies.
This brings us to last year’s card. It is my most controversial card to date!! Lol. So for Halloween 2017 I was a deer; actually I was a dead deer…twisted? Yes, but I thought it was funny.
I then had an amazing idea to use that picture for my Christmas card, the dead one, not the cute live one. Ok see below, then we will discuss, lol.
So there you have it, I killed Rudolph in last year’s card. I stand by that card, even though it was a bit dark; ok, a lot dark, lol.
And that brings us to this year’s card. I looked through my iPhone pictures and couldn’t find anything inspiring. So I came up with the wording first and my friend, who is an amateur photographer, and I went to the desert and shot a few different things.
As per my guidelines above, I am on track and will have my cards in the mail by the first week of December.
Let me know if you are curious about this year’s card, leave a comment below. If people want me to share I will right before Christmas.
It’s currently snowing here, I am feeling very festive! Thanks for reading!
Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween!!!
I hope you have had some spooky fun this month. If you haven’t, it’s not too late!! You still have a few days, so get cracking! Carve some pumpkins, make some scary cookies, dress up for a party, you really only live once…I think?
My October has been very busy, but I got my spook on. I visited a Haunted Museum and survived zombies in Vegas. In Paris, I visited the Catacombs and saw lots of real skulls & bones…it was freaky. And today I went to see a ballet at the Smith Center in downtown Vegas. You’re probably wondering, what makes a ballet an acceptable Halloween themed activity? Well it was a Gothic ballet based on Dracula. Nothing screams Halloween more than skulls, zombies and Dracula!!
I am finishing off the month back in Canada; where I have a girls dinner party planned on the 30th. It’s a Trick or Treat theme, each person has been instructed to bring one gift and we will swap. I thought it would be fun, plus I love gifts, lol, giving and getting.
Then Trick or Treating on the 31st! Ok I may be too old for that? But I am certain I will find something to do.
For those who have read my October posts, I hope you were inspired to enjoy some fall fun.
What’s next? Christmas!!!!! The only holiday that I love more than Halloween is Christmas; I have some fun posts coming up in November and December.
Thanks for reading friends!!!
Let me know if there is something you would like to see me write a post on or if you have any questions? I love hearing what you think.
This post is all about how to throw a Weirdly Wicked Halloween Dinner Party for your coven of best bitches…I mean witches!
For those who don’t know me I looooooovvvve Halloween! I love everything about it!
I polled a few of my anti-Halloween friends to see what specifically they didn’t like about Halloween; while secretly wondering, why I was still friends with them? lol. They all said the same thing, that they don’t like dressing up because they don’t know what to be or have the time to put a costume together; to that I say: “Booooooo!!!”
I am going to make this super simple, ready? Invite your best girlfriends or boyfriends, over for dinner, or appetizers, or desert or just drinks. Whatever you are comfortable with. The point is to spend the evening with your friends. The point is not to stress about the meal, if you don’t want to cook, order in.
In the past few years, I have hosted dinner parties for my friends where I tell them to come over dressed in black with red lipstick. I usually come up with a catchy name for our dinner. They don’t have to think of a costume, they just need to show up in black. And for those who have a fear or red lipstick, I have all kinds that I will and have shared. Side note, there is something about red lips that makes me feel powerful, is it just me??
Buy masks or wigs for your friends and have them put them on when they arrive. Give them a drink or two, if they feel silly. My friends have been conditioned to just go with all of my hair brained ideas. And voila! Everyone is dressed up!
Last year I bought a variety of glittery masks and fancy cat ears. But this year everyone got the same mask.
I set up a table and chairs in my friends backyard; We had dinner outside in the woods. Which ended up going really well with our bunny mask theme. It wasn’t planned, but it worked out perfectly.
Everyone having the same mask was really fun, it made us feel like a cool group of…..well bunnies I guess? But not just regular bunnies, Bad Ass Bunnies! My friends come to my events knowing that there will be lots of pictures taken; they are always really great sports.
Here are two things I have discovered: First, we have a lot of fun goofing around for the camera; even those who say that they don’t like getting their pictures taken. A perfect example is the picture above, our ears kept banging together, which made us laugh… a lot! The second thing I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of moms out there who are invisible. And I am not talking about a cool party magic trick. They are actually invisible!! They are always the ones taking the pictures, they are never in them. One of my friends discovered that she was invisible in most of their Christmas morning pictures, it’s like she wasn’t even there. Moms, please don’t be invisible!! Be present, be in the picture!
The goal of all my parties is to make memories with friends; and I think being goofy and getting people out of their comfort zone a little is a great way to bond.
I like to print out the drink instructions and have all the ingredients on the counter top. I have my guests take turns making the drinks; everyone gets a chance to be the bartender. It’s great to get your guests involved, don’t be afraid to give them jobs; you gotta work! And it’s fun.
Here is my fancy red velvet cake table; we had Chinese food for dinner. I bought the cake and ordered the Chinese food, see, super easy! No one judged me for not making everything or anything myself. I made the money that bought the food, lol, that was good enough! I was having fun with my guests instead of stressing in the kitchen. The cake was to die for!!!
I hope this has inspired you to host your very own Halloween Dinner Party. If you do, please share your pics and ideas on Facebook or Instagram at: oui-liette
Once again thanks for reading, please click like at the bottom of this story.