If you’re an expert at trimming the tree – and we suspect you are – now is the time to apply those decorating skills to your drink menu. Read on for a few garnish ideas to elevate at-home libations. And yes, sampling is encouraged.

Fortune Cookie Garnish

Continue reading “Hosting? Impress with These Clever Cocktail Add-Ons” »

December 23, 2014

In honor of New Year’s Eve, it’s about to go down.

1. This is the absolute epitome of what we want our night to look like.

2. So many fancy drinks. So little time. Cue the coconut Bellinis.

3. Glittering food to match the décor. We can’t get enough.

4. All of these optimistic 2014 sayings are making us a little sentimental (and very excited).

5. Sparklers. Need we say more?

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.

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December 31, 2013

Forget about getting a reservation this late in the game. Here’s your solution: Call the neighbors who decided to “keep it low-key this year,” drag them out of bed, and throw together an impromptu soiree. Author and entertaining expert Matthew Mead gives us the foodie 411 on rocking it until the ball drops.

“It is important to keep key ingredients stocked for spontaneous get-togethers,” Mead writes. “Keep the following items on hand, and you will always be prepared to entertain drop-in guests.”

Last-Minute New Year's Eve Entertaining

  • In the cupboard: Several types of crackers and crisp breads to accompany spreads and cheeses, canned Mandarin oranges (to top cake or add to trifles), and jam, coffee, and tea.
  • In the refrigerator: Semisoft cheese, hard cheese, dip, and salsa. Two bottles of white wine, ginger ale, cranberry juice, seltzer, lemons and limes, and whipping cream. At holiday time, consider a spiral-sliced ham or smoked turkey breast.
  • In the freezer: Fruit bread, biscuits, cheesecake, pound cake, frozen cookie dough.
  • In the entertaining pantry: Red wine, taper, pilar, and votive candles.

Excerpted from Entertaining Simple by Matthew Mead (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). Copyright 2008.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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Continue reading “New Year’s Plans Gone Awry? Tips for Last-Minute Entertaining” »

December 30, 2013

Mani Monday

New Year’s Eve is all about the sparkle. And for this year’s festivities, I’m going all out with a glitter manicure that will outshine even Times Square’s NYE ball.  For your own sparkly nail art (that will look elegant wrapped around a champagne flute), check out the steps below.

What You’ll Need:

-A bottle of your favorite colored nail polish and top coat



-Jar of glitter (I used the Martha Stewart craft glitter found here.)

-Dry paintbrush




1)    Paint your nails with the colored polish and let dry completely.

2)    Cut thin strips of tape and place on nails at an angle.

3)    Immediately after, paint the top part of your nail with clear polish.

4)    Next, dip your freshly painted tip into the jar of glitter. Repeat for all nails.

5)    After 10 minutes, carefully peel the tape off of each nail. (Note: Try to peel off tape in one take, otherwise the tape will come off in pieces which will be tedious to fix – that’s where the patience comes in handy.)

6)    Use the dry paintbrush to dust off any wandering glitter.

By Carolyn Schultz, Staff Writer

Have a manicure tip? Share in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Lipsticks

While I’m a huge proponent of a classic red lip, it leaves a little something to be desired on a night that is notorious for letting your inhibitions go the way of the wind – New Year’s Eve. If we’re willing to go outside our style comfort zones and pile on leather, sequins, and fringe (just not simultaneously) to ring in the New Year, doesn’t it make sense to be a little more daring with our lip color, too?

Get in touch with your dark side. A deep crimson, could-be-mistaken-for-black lip instantly adds a sumptuous element to your look.

Peachy keen. An orange hue is unexpected without crossing into cringe-worthy territory. Stick to shades that remain in the coral family to rock this shade perfectly.

Seeing violet. A purple lip is not for the faint of heart – but it is for the fashion-forward. If you’re aiming to stand out this New Year’s, try swiping on this unique hue.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

Will you be trying a new lipstick shade this New Year’s Eve? Share in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 27, 2012