8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

Happy #humpday guys! Wow, can you believe there are only 4 short days until Christmas and only 11 days left in 2017? The most wonderful time of the year is coming to a close, but that doesn't mean that there still aren't a million and one things to do. The finishing touches --ribbons, bows, and Christmas wrapping paper-- are being hastily applied to those last-minute Christmas gifts, guest lists are being finalized for the annual family dinner, final preparations are being made on the dinner menu. And then there's the little issue of your special "signature drink" for all of your adult guests!  This detail is by no means required (a few different beer and wine selections are what passes at most of my family's dinner), but if you are the lucky one tasked with hosting the family Christmas dinner this year the little extra effort and creativity will earn you hostess bonus points. And who doesn't like to brag at family gatherings?

For me, Christmas is the biggest time for catching up with family and sharing in the joy and gratitude of one another's company, and so it's only fitting to have a festive libation to accompany the celebration! Don't have any idea what sort of drink to serve and don't have time to do research and poll everyone given the dozens of other tasks you need to finish before Christmas day? Have no fear! I've got you, because below I've rounded up 8 holiday cocktails perfect for your upcoming Christmas parties! The best part is that most of these recipes can also be filed away for your New Year's get-togethers as well (so buy extra bubbly while you're shopping!). 

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

SNOW BUNNY

Think of adult cookies and milk when you mix up this holiday cocktail. The sweet, creamy drink is sort of like a Kahlua and cream without the soda, and it's sure to delight your guests' inner child. When paired with sugar cookies it is the perfect follow-up to dinner (in addition to grandpa's famous homemade pies, of course).

Get the recipe at Sarah Sherman Samuels.

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

HOLIDAY CHAMPAGNE PUNCH

Punch bowls are always a hit at parties, and they are also the simplest to execute. All you need to do is mix a large bowl or pitcher of it before guests arrive, set out some pretty disposable cups or glassware if you're extra fancy, and allow everyone to serve themselves! Make this champagne and cranberry punch even more festive by preparing cranberry and rosemary ice cubes the night before.

Get the recipe at Designlovefest.

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

SPARKLING PEAR ROSEMARY COCKTAIL

Treat your guests to a delicious sparkling wine-based drink flavored with pear juice, a rosemary simple syrup, and garnished with cranberries (because of course). The syrup can be made in a large batch the day before so that all you have to do day-of is pour all the ingredients into glasses. You could even set up a holiday cocktail assembly station so friends and family can prepare their own drinks. 

Get the recipe at Lauren Conrad.

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

SPARKLING PEAR APPLE CIDER SANGRIA

Nothing quite captures the mood of a festive get together like some good old-fashioned bubbly, in my opinion. If you're anything like my family, then you might also break out some sparkling cider for special occasions. Up the ante this year with a sparkling cider sangria, complete with fresh fruit, rosé, champagne, and cognac for added flavor. Just like a punch bowl, it's easy to mix together in advance when you have time and allow your guests to serve themselves (just keep in mind that sangria, unlike punch, will take at least a few hours if not overnight to really soak in all the flavor).

Get the recipe at Lauren Conrad

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

A FESTIVE AMARO COCKTAIL

If you feel up to doing a little bartending (or if you have a cousin or significant other known for making good drinks that you can force the task onto), then this shaken drink contains the perfect mix of festive flavors. Cranberry, orange, and sweet sugar flavors will make this a drink your family will request in the future, not to mention it's a beautiful deep marsala wine color. 

Get the recipe on Jojotastic

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

SALTED CARAMEL SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE

Adult hot chocolate, anyone? This is a simple, classic warm drink with a twist that you can serve after dinner or while opening presents (or anytime, really, because adults can drink hot chocolate whenever they want). Just don't forget to make a kid-friendly version to share as well. Trust me, you don't want that kind of drama.

Get the recipe over on Lauren Conrad

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

THE HOLIDAY COSMO

This drink will be best-suited for a smaller get-together with friends or immediate family as there is a bit more prep involved. Make the mulled spice cranberry juice in advance and keep your cocktail shaker at the ready, because this festive cosmo will have your guests calling for a second round (or fourth?).

Get the recipe on Sarah Sherman Samuel

8 Cocktails To Serve At Your Upcoming Holiday Festivities | Kayla Lynn

THE WHISKEY ROSE

With a drink as pretty as it sound, how could you go wrong with this sparkling apple cocktail? Out of everything on this list, this drink is definitely on my short list of drinks to serve at a proper party! It's a scrumptious blend of rye whiskey, rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice, and apple soda (such as Izze). Yum! Pour me one stat.

Get the recipe on Anne Sage

So what about you guys, are you all prepared for Christmas? What are some of your favorite drinks to serve at family get-togethers? Let me know in the comments below, I love to hear about other people's holiday traditions.

Last Minute, No Fuss Gift Ideas

Photo: Boxwood Clippings

Can you believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away? For us, that means things are really starting to come down to the wire, and while the little ones are excitedly counting down the nights until Santa visits their house, the adults are anxiously watching the dwindling days they have left to get their holiday shopping done! 

If you're a last-minute shopper, then you may already be starting to notice that certain popular items are starting to become unavailable, especially toys and outerwear in certain sizes. The time you have left to order gifts online is coming to an end also, as shipping congestion will start to make it harder and harder for packages to be shipped and delivered on-time. But have no fear! There are still plenty of gift options available out there that are in-stock and easy to pick up in-store or order online if you do so soon (a.k.a. perfect for last minute shoppers.) 

Need some inspiration? Check out some of my favorite no fuss gift ideas below. There is no apparel, no frantically texting around to figure out what size you need to get. And the best part? Everything on the list is $45 or less, so there's no need to shell out hundreds of dollars for gifts that your friends and family will love. 

Last Minute, No Fuss Gift Ideas | Kayla Lynn

1. "Grey Girl In Chair" Art Print ($40): Have someone on your list that would appreciate a pretty piece of art this Christmas? Check them off with this gorgeous watercolor print by artist Laurie Anne Gonzalez. Dress it up with this frame to create a great presentation that's ready to hang.

2. 9 Bottle Gold Wine Rack ($29.99): Have a wine lover in your life? A bottle of wine and a pretty gold wine rack to put it on will make the perfect holiday gift this year.

3. Voluspa Cut Glass Jar Candles ($28): You can never really go wrong with a good candle. It's the Old Reliable of gift giving, and while it's not super exciting it is a gift that you can always show up to a party or small family gathering with as a token of giving (and you won't have a difficult time finding one!)

4. Decorative Gold Metal Bowls w/ Tray ($19.99): These decorative bowls are a lovely gift for the entertainer on your list, and it's also multi-functional.

5. Rose Gold Cocktail Shaker ($12.99): A cocktail shaker is a staple for any home bar, yet it's one that many people don't have (myself included). Give your bartenders-at-heart the tools they need to mix of some amazing cocktails just in time for the New Year.

6. Monogram Old Fashioned Glass w/ Gold Rim ($4.99): These monogramed old fashioned glasses are beautiful in person and are a great way to add a personalized touch. Gift these along with a bottle of your favorite whiskey or some beautiful coasters (see below) and you're set.

7. Hey There Pumpkin Doormat ($45): This doormat is so adorable, I just had to include it. Ryan and I received a pretty doormat for Christmas last year and we love it. Functional yet decorative gifts are always appreciated.

8. Glass Whiskey Decanter w/ Wood Stopper ($9.99): A decanter is something everyone needs, even if they don't know it. A whisky or wine decanter can greatly elevate the presentation as well as the flavor of your favorite alcoholic beverage, and they're generally a very affordable gift.

9. Marble + Wood Cutting Board ($39): Cheese boards and trays are another must-have gift for any hostess or homebody. They can serve so many different purposes, and they're also just pretty to look at. If you have anyone on your shopping list that loves to decorate or host, this gift is a surefire winner.

10. White + Gold Stoneware Coasters ($9.99): I go through coasters like crazy. They get stained, wear out, and I'm always on the lookout for a new set. Pair a set of pretty coasters with some glasses and you've got a solid gift for just about anyone.

11. Vintage Pottery Plate ($13.50): For the person in your life that loves a bit of vintage flair, this ceramic dish is a unique, non-generic Christmas gift. Gifts like these make my inner anthropologist VERY happy, and I'm resisting the urge to scoop this piece up for myself!

12. Rounded Square Marble Serving Tray ($24.99): All marble everything! Marble homewares are always well received and are very on-trend, singling you out as the gift giver who knows what's up.

There's still enough time left before Christmas morning to scrounge up some really great gifts for the people remaining on your list. Many of the items above are from Target and are in-stock in most stores (even if they may be unavailable for shipping online), so check out the inventory available at your local Target store on Target.com and go shopping as soon as possible for the best possible selection.

Happy shopping friends, and Happy Holidays!


A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

Hello! Kayla here, with a local home tour that I for one am psyched about. I first saw this home on West Elm's blog Front + Main a couple weeks ago and it was basically love at first sight. Older builds like this 1947 Cape Cod-style home are my one true love (despite my boyfriend's insistence that the maintenance would be a nightmare), but I really can't resist; there's just so much more craftsmanship, character, and love involved in most older homes. I internally scream at the thought of living in a cookie-cutter new build in a neighborhood of tightly-packed houses that are all basically one of three or four different layouts. No thank you.

Now enter this **stunning** home owned and decorated by Washington native Emily Ruff of Cohesively Curated. It is both classic and glamorous, yet comfy and affordable. The whole house looks as if it cost about three times as much to decorate and renovate as it probably actually did. It's impressive how far a bit of paint, some snazzy hardware, and a good decorating sense can go. And the best part: if you stalk and mull over Target's shelves as much as I do then your eyes will be able to spy a WHOLE BUNCH of Target pieces amongst the photos; that's in addition to items from Anthropologie and of course West Elm (I NEED this Benson dresser stat).

 All in all the renovations made to the house were relatively simple. The most impressive work that went into this house is the decor and the styling (in my opinion). If you're interested in hearing more about the process, be sure to hop on over to Emily's blog as well as read the article written by Maxwell Tielman for West Elm. Now let's enjoy the glamor shots shall we?

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

This velvet turquoise couch and the oversize floral artwork in the background (can you believe it's a DIY??) are the real stars of the show in this house. This is definitely the room that makes the biggest statement style-wise, and all the other decor in the room falls nicely in line with these focal points. The coffee table, chairs, and pillows are stylish and chic but not overly fussy, allowing the couch to really have it's moment. Two thumbs up here for sure!

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

In case you haven't heard yet, chrome finishes are making a big comeback on the design scene, and this dining room incorporates it well. The chairs as well as the bar cart and mirror provide a subtle yet sophisticated pop, while the warmer beige colors throughout the dining room help to cool the chrome down and balance it out. This room is a perfect example of how metals can easily be mixed so long as it's done in moderation.

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

My other great love is this KITCHEN! While I would love to have a little more counter space to work with, this little kitchen is just so well done that I'd forgive it almost anything. Marble countertops and subway tile backsplash are my DREAM. It's also the polar opposite of what my boyfriend likes so as you can see we are going to have a LOT of fun house shopping. I need to start practicing my compromise skills. 

In addition to the marble, the light-colored cabinetry helps to reflect a lot of natural light, creating a space that is perfectly bright and airy. Can you imagine the Instagram photos?? The brass cabinet pulls also do a good job of tying in the kitchen by echoing all of the gold and brass hardware throughout the rest of the house. The kitchen is almost too pretty to cook in.

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

The den is darker and a little moodier than the rest of the house thanks to the black trim. It also has a much more masculine feel, and it's amazing to me how much of a difference the black walls make even though the other colors and textures present in the room (cognac leather, wood, marble, blue velvet) are exactly the same as most of the other rooms in the house. 

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

A Stylish & Glam Seattle Home Tour | Kayla Lynn

Last of all, the bedroom. It's dark blue walls makes the room feel so zen, and it's a design trend that definitely continues to grow in popularity. White and beige textiles throughout the room as well as a light-wooded dresser framed in white help to not make the dark walls feel quite so heavy and brooding. As with most things, compromise and balance is key. Also, can we talk about the window for just a sec? It's complete with both a lovely cream Roman shade and a pair of crisp white curtains hanging from a brass and lucite curtain rod that is attached directly to the ceiling. The whole thing just works so well. Consider my mind blown. I'm definitely filing this clever idea away for the future.

So what do you think? Are you ready to move in yet? 

If you liked this post, feel free to check out some other Seattle-area home tours here and here. Seattle interior designers are near and dear to my heart, and I absolutely love getting the opportunity to share beautiful homes like this one. 

Happy Wednesday! XOXO

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

You guys. You already know that I am obsessed with all things Target but the new collaboration between Magnolia Home and Target has me chomping at the bit to max out my credit card and buy EVERYTHING. If you know nothing about the Gaines's then I highly recommend you pause where you are right now and turn on an episode of Fixer Upper With Chip and Joanna Gaines in the background (the episodes are free to stream from HGTV's website). Have it on? Awesome, you may now proceed with this blog post. Don't have it on? That's ok, proceed with the post anyway (but you're missing out!!).

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn
Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview

The new Hearth & Hand With Magnolia holiday collection launches in store and online this weekend on Nov. 5 (so close, you guys!), and you can bet that I am counting down the seconds and stalking the Target website like a crazy person. There is SO MUCH coming with the new collection; pillows, Christmas decorations, gifts and gift wrap, plates, glassware, pajamas, various textiles, candles. There are even pet products (Sammy is getting a new dog bed for Christmas. And probably also this bone). The products definitely have a cozy farmhouse vibe, in addition to an industrial touch from all the galvanized steel and mixed metal accessories. Overall, the new line is large and versatile enough to be able to mix and match your favorite pieces to fit pretty much any aesthetic you want, which is awesome.

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

The ceramic pitchers, stoneware dishes, nesting houses, and the beaded wood garland pictured on the tree above are minimal and organic enough for the perfect Scandinavian Christmas vibe. If the industrial loft look is more your thing then you will have a field day with this collection for obvious reasons; there are plenty of raw and rugged textures to work with including the galvanized metal tree collar above. Mix in wooden textures, lots of linens, and even some vintage pieces with the metal accents for a more traditional farmhouse/shabby chic vibe. And if you're going for a slightly more feminine holiday look, then all of the gold/brass and green foliage accents will be your best friend. 

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

Hearth & Hand For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

The Hearth & Home collection basically has everything you could possibly want to decorate your home this holiday season, and I hope all of you check it out when it releases on Sunday because it is just too good to miss out on. Below I've previewed some of my favorite accessories but my list really only scratches the surface of the 100+ items that will be available so take the time to look through the selection because you're sure to find something you love. 

Hearth & Home For Target Holiday Preview | Kayla Lynn

What are your favorite products from the new Hearth & Home line? Let me know in the comments below.

Decorating With Vintage Portraits

Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Studio McGee

If you pay attention to interior design trends at all, you've likely already noticed that vintage artwork has become a staple in any modern eclectic home. Portraits in particular are making themselves perfectly at home on mantles, shelves, walls, and credenzas everywhere, and while this trend isn't exactly new on the scene, it is one that continues to pick up steam and I for one am ready to jump on board! I have always loved homes that feel cozy and lived-in with a collection of new and old pieces. Whether you're looking to add a touch of quirk, humor, mystery, or an interesting pop of color to your space, you can bet that there is the perfect portrait out there for you. 

Vintage artwork can be either expensive or affordable depending on where you look. If price is less of a barrier for you, then the vintage online shop Chairish will be your best friend! It's a beautifully curated online store filled with the most amazing vintage finds, from artwork and furniture to barware and one-of-a-kind decorative trinkets. Etsy is the second-best place to search for vintage portraits, in my opinion. The prices tend to be much more affordable than the popular and on-trend Chairish marketplace, however the selection fluctuates and can be hit or miss. If you're feeling especially motivated, shopping at local flea markets and antique stores is probably the ultimate way to dig up something special. Some of the most stunning portraits I've seen have come from tiny little flea markets; all it takes is a bit of patience and perhaps even a little bit of luck.

The most important thing is to find a painting that speaks to you in some way. Does it make you smile? Does it make you laugh? Do you just love the colors or the composition? Are you intrigued by the person in the portrait and wonder what they're thinking? Does the person remind you of yourself or someone you know? Whatever it is, it's imperative that you find something that you like and which will work in your space. 

So if you're looking to add a bit of character to your home or office, vintage portraits just might be the way to go! Not to mention it's a really great conversation starter for when you have guests over. You can check out some well-designed examples below as well as shop some of my favorite recent finds at the end of the post! 

Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Super Marché Shop
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Jojotastic 
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Domino
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Black Lacquer Design
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: sfgirlbybay
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Timothy Godbold
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Brittany Makes
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Turbulences Deco
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: sfgirlbybay
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Design*Sponge
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Country Style Magazine
Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn
Photo: sfgirlbybay



Decorating With Vintage Portraits | Kayla Lynn

XOXO, Kayla