This Fourth of July, declare your independence from those chocolate-chip cookies you bring to every cookout and brighten up the party with these super-patriotic (and super-simple) chocolate-covered strawberries.

4th of July Strawberries
Taste and Tell says you can make these all-American after-dinner treats without a recipe, but we figured we’d break it down for you.

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries, washed and dried
  • White chocolate
  • Blue sugar or sprinkles

 
Instructions:

  1. Put the chocolate in a bowl and heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir the chocolate until it’s smooth.
  3. If the chocolate hasn’t completely melted, keep microwaving it for 30-second intervals, stirring after each time.
  4. Take a strawberry and dip it in the melted chocolate, then in the sugar.
  5. Place the dipped strawberry on a sheet of waxed paper to cool.

 
Once all the berries are dipped and the chocolate has hardened, arrange them on a platter and watch them disappear before you can light a sparkler.

By Leah Welcome, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

July 2, 2015

We all have that friend with the stunning house and a knack for hosting summer’s most memorable nights. So this year, make sure to show your appreciation with a standout thank-you gift. Here are a few ways to wow, whether you’re crashing for just a night or the whole weekend.

Best Hostess Gifts

The Overnighter

  • Bring a treat from your hometown – think local beer or baked goods that aren’t available where you’re headed. Pack the brews in a monogrammed tote or take along a cake stand for the sweet eats.
  • Give your host an item that suits the guest room for future visitors to admire, like a carafe, coffee-table book, or scented candle.

 

Best Hostess Gifts

The Weekender

  • Come bearing a collection of entertaining musts: a personalized carryall complete with snacks, a cheese board, wine, wineglasses, and a favorite board game. Then, kick-start the fun.
  • Post-trip, send a framed photo from the weekend. Memories? Coming right up.

 
Equip your arsenal with these picks and more in our Gifts Under $30: Never Show Up Empty Handed Boutique, which opened Wednesday, July 1, at 11AM ET.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

July 1, 2015

Few things are more fun than being invited to a friend’s patio for a summer BBQ. Spirits are high, and the glasses of wine? Let’s just say they’re getting refilled. So when your red wobbles onto the tablecloth, don’t stress. The answer to your problem is likely right in the pantry.

How to Remove Wine Stain
Grab the artificial sweetener, and try this:

  1. Open and sprinkle a packet over the stain. For maximum absorption, let it sit throughout the rest of the BBQ.
  2. Within 24 hours of scraping the sweetener off, rinse the tablecloth in cold water.
  3. Launder as usual. (Pro tip: Swap out the artificial sweetener for distilled white vinegar if the cloth is cotton, a cotton blend, or permanent-press.)

 
And hey, if the stain just won’t quit, there’s always another checkered cloth to be found.

By Kim Watson, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

June 26, 2015

Only a few weeks after introducing a “Shop Now” button, our favorite photo-sharing app has already released an update. Sorry, no trendy new filters made the cut, but finding cool new people, places, and things? Well, that just got a whole lot easier.

Instagram Update

Places Search
This improved search bar lets you find photos by location. (Hello, daydreams of Italy.)

Trending Tags
A bit of a Twitter copycat, this section showcases trending tags and places in real time. 

Explore Posts
Hop over to this feature to spot everything en vogue – from people to places and beyond.

So get to it and update that app. The explorer in you will definitely appreciate it.

By Keir Cullen Janey, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

June 24, 2015

Our obsession with fizzy water knows no bounds, so naturally we turned to SodaStream to bring that love together with another: refreshing summer cocktails. Turns out, this Pink Lemonade White Wine Sparkle recipe is super-easy to make – and too good not to share.

Sodastream blog cocktail recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bottle of SodaStream Pink Lemonade flavored sparkling water
  • 1 liter cold water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup gin
  • Lemon wedges


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prep the flavored water: Fizz the cold water with your SodaStream soda maker, then flavor that fizzy water with SodaStream Pink Lemonade sparkling drink mix.
  2. In a carafe, mix the flavored sparkling water with your wine and gin.
  3. Add the lemon wedges and ice.
  4. Give it all a mix and enjoy cold.

 
Go on, make your water more exciting. Our SodaStream Boutique opens Friday, June 19, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Associate Content Editor

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

June 19, 2015

Instagram. iCal. We look at our phones all day, so why not make them pretty? Fortunately, these websites offer free (as in zero dollars) wallpapers worth staring at. Just point, click, and download for an instant makeover.

15-06-17_iphonewallpaper_blog1
Wonder Forest
For us, summer spells strawberries. Bonus points if they’re garnishing a champagne glass. This foodie-friendly print is cheerful and in season, and it may even remind you to eat your fruits and veggies.
Continue reading “Talk About an Upgrade: Chic iPhone Wallpaper” »

June 18, 2015

Puppy Instagrams. Cat memes. If you’re anything like us, you can’t get enough of the animal kingdom. But there are a few celebrities whose love for furry friends extends past the domestic and into the great outdoors.

weird celebrity petsAudrey Hepburn
Well-known for her classic pearls and quintessential LBD, turns out our favorite Funny Face also fell for a fawn. The name of her unusual pet? Pippin.
Continue reading “Fur Family: 5 Unusual Celebrity Pets” »

June 10, 2015

That dream kitchen you pin over and over again? It probably looks something like Ina Garten‘s (a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa), clean and white with hints of French country style. We’d cook just to hang out there. But since a full remodel probably isn’t in the cards, here are six pieces that easily channel Ina’s laid-back Hamptons look.

Ina Garten–Inspired Kitchen

  1. Stainless Steel Cookware
    If you’re going to follow Ina’s recipes to a T (she is, after all, the author of nine cookbooks), you might as well follow her cookware lead. Even if all you can do is boil spaghetti, a gleaming set of pots and pans makes you look like a pro.
  2. Flowers
    Ina goes for the real deal, but if you don’t have a green thumb, a forever-fresh arrangement can come in the form of silk florals or a faux topiary. Set it down and never give a moment’s thought to watering.
  3. French-Style Baskets
    Woven baskets made from natural materials – this set is water hyacinth – bring that rustic country touch. Use them to store anything from dish towels to cutting boards and cooling racks.
  4. Cake Stands
    Scoop up as many as you have room for. Ina displays her collection on a top shelf as if they were sculptures. No shelves? Putting them in a glass-front cabinet works equally well.
  5. White Dinnerware
    That clean, white look we’ve been going on and on about? This is a key piece of it. Stock up on sparkling white plates and serveware and you’ll never be in danger of setting out a mismatched set.
  6. Quality Wood Cutting Boards
    Displayed on the countertop, the rich wood tone adds a natural contrast to gleaming stainless steel and white everything. Plus, they’re easier on your knives.

Get that kitchen makeover started. Our The Hamptons Kitchen: Inspired by Ina Garten Boutique opens Tuesday, June 9, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Associate Content Editor

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

June 9, 2015

Summertime and the living’s busy (beach days, anyone?). Which is why you need easy, on-the-go snacks in your life. Enter: No-Bake Energy Bites, courtesy of Gimme Some Oven.

No-Bake Recipe

These power-packed balls of protein are perfect for a quick breakfast or road-trip treat. Not to mention, they’re incredibly delicious and can be ready in a snap. No oven? No problem. Just measure, mix, and you’ll be eating the healthy equivalent of cookies in no time.
Continue reading “Stir Things Up: No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe” »

May 29, 2015

It appears that Apple’s much-improved iOS 8.3 keyboard was just the tip of the emoji-update iceberg. The Unicode Consortium has just released a whopping 38 proposed new characters, and according to Yahoo Tech, we can expect these additions to grace our keyboards around June 2016.

New Emoji 2016

In the meantime, check out our 10 most-anticipated additions below:

1. Bacon
2. Clinking glasses
3. Face palm
4. Man dancing
5. Avocado
6. Croissant
7. Selfie
8. Prince
9. Face with cowboy hat
10. “Call me” hand

Our only question: Why are we getting a carrot, a potato, and a cucumber, but still no burrito? Food for thought.

By Keir Cullen Janey, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

May 26, 2015