Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Pre-Thanksgiving Celebration

Thanksgiving colored candy in my Michael Aram olive branch dish
I absolutely loved this Modern Guide to Thanksgiving Etiquette that Bon Appétit put together this year. They also have a Thanksgiving Prep Timeline for this weekend that is spot on.

Sweet Paul suggests 10 Thanksgiving books to make your celebration wonderful.

If you have a vegetarian at your table and you're clueless about what to serve them, Martha Stewart has 15 easy meatless Thanksgiving recipes.

DON'T FORGET!! Our giveaway is still going on - who wouldn't want to win a crystal ice bucket & 4 champagne flutes from Reed & Barton?! Enter here.

How to prepare for a dinner party in 5 steps.

More Thanksgiving 2014: Pinterest Board | Bar Cart Design | Tablescape | Painted Pumpkin Centerpiece Tutorial | Appetizers | Menu Place Cards | Favors: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | Hostess Gifts | Printables

Thanksgiving 2013: Tablescape | Bar Cart Design & Sparkling Pear Cocktail | Place Cards & Menu | Favors: Mini Pumpkin Loaves with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting | Printables

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Last Minute Thanksgiving Printables

Thanksgiving is a week away! Which means that these free Thanksgiving printables would make the perfect project for this weekend. I absolutely love the "thankful for prompts" - the place mats would be perfect for a kids table! Click the links in the captions to download from the original sites. If you want more, check out last year's printable picks.
Placemats // Oh My Deer
Menu, Place Cards, Thankful For Cards // Antiqueria for Oh So Beautiful Paper
Leftovers Labels // Coco + Kelley

Thanks for coming! Leftovers Bag // Pizzazzerie

More Thanksgiving 2014: Pinterest BoardBar Cart Design | TablescapePainted Pumpkin Centerpiece Tutorial | Appetizers | Menu Place Cards | Favors: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | Hostess Gifts

Thanksgiving 2013: Tablescape | Bar Cart Design & Sparkling Pear Cocktail | Place Cards & Menu | Favors: Mini Pumpkin Loaves with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Baked Ricotta Dip & Truffled Potato Chips

Deciding what to serve before a Thanksgiving feast can be tricky. There definitely needs to be a little something for guests to nibble on, but you don't want to spoil their appetites before the main event. For our Friendsgiving celebration this year I decided on this baked ricotta dip with truffled potato chips and crudités. (Hostess confession: Foragers was out of the truffle chips so I had to sub in rosemary and the sign didn't match the chips. The party went on.)
Traditionally I have been very against crudités. Who is ever on their way to a party thinking "Gee I really hope I can eat some plain raw vegetables tonight." But in this case I thought it paired nicely with the dip and wouldn't invite guests to stuff themselves the way a cheese board would. The ricotta dip itself is wonderfully light and the lemon and chives make it refreshing. You can find the recipe at the Kitchn.
I decided that if I had to serve raw veggies I wanted to do so in a fun and unexpected way, so I put them in this terrarium (last seen holding candy on my Halloween bar cart). I bought the terrarium with zero plans to use it for its intended purpose, as I hate indoor plants. They are always dusty and I feel like they attract bugs. Candy and potato chips however, I can get behind.
Photography by Darren Gantt

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

16 Holiday Hostess Gifts Under $50

I've already received several requests for holiday gift guides - I appreciate you reaching out and I'm so happy to help! I can only imagine how quickly your calendars are filling up with parties this holiday season. Stock up on a few of these affordable gifts so you'll be prepared - a good guest never arrives empty handed! 
1. Henri Bendel Signature Holiday Candle Sale: 2 for $50! | 2. Party On Bottle Opener | 3. Tocca Parfum Trio She can regift whichever she doesn't love as a stocking stuffer! | 4. Snowflake Cheese Board | 5. Dinner Diaries: Reviving the Art of the Hostess Book | 6. Tory Burch Westerly Candle (will make a beautiful vase or makeup brush container when the candle is done!) | 7. Monogram Bottle Stopper | 8. Cheers My Dears Mini Party Cups | 9. Jonathan Adler Sticky Notes | 10. Champagne Water Bottle THIS KEEPS CHAMPAGNE FIZZY FOR 24 HOURS!! | 11. Back Me Up iPhone Charger 12. Nate Berkus Candle Holder | 13. Chocolate + Smarties + Mallet = too much fun | 14. Sugar Paper for Target 2015 Planner | 15. Kate Spade Wine Tote | 16. Chocolate Covered Oreos

Monday, November 17, 2014

Giveaway: Ice Bucket & Champagne Flutes from Reed & Barton!!

I'm so excited about our very first giveaway! The crystal pieces you've seen in my photos (most recently here and here) are all by Reed & Barton, who have generously offered an ice bucket and 4 champagne flutes for one lucky reader. These items will majorly improve your holiday hosting!! And would be perfect for toasting to the new year. You can see the ice bucket on my New Years Eve bar cart from last year. Use the widget below to enter - you'll be asked to visit A Bar Cart in Brooklyn on facebook - legally I can't ask you to "like" the facebook page, but I hope you do! And you get an extra entry for following on Pinterest. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway begins Monday November 17 and ends Monday December 1 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by random.org and notified by email on Tuesday December 2. The retail value of the prize is approximately $200 USD. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that A Bar Cart in Brooklyn is not responsible if Reed & Barton does not fulfill their prizes; Reed & Barton is represented with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The items will be shipped to the winner directly from Reed & Barton using a promotional code on their website. A Bar Cart in Brooklyn will make every effort to assist the winner in obtaining the prize. If there is an issue please notify A Bar Cart in Brooklyn within 30 days for assistance. The products offered for the giveaway are free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to A Bar Cart in Brooklyn alone. Information will not be shared or sold and is used only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beauty Products for Holiday Travel

Are you traveling during the holiday season? Somehow the events I'm attending between now and the new year are spread out all over the place: from Florida to Texas to Washington state to Mexico. That is a LOT for 6 weeks. So it occurred to me that I'd better get my travel bag in order. Below are the products that I rely on for travel and why. You can click the images to shop directly from the post!

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads are my #1 most essential product for travel. 30 minutes before your flight lands, wipe your face with one of these to get rid of that yucky plane feeling. Then follow up with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and Beauty Flash Eye Revive. I love the Beauty Flash line because it does exactly what it claims - reduces redness and puffiness. It instantly makes me feel more awake, which is why it's also my go-to for mornings after too much champagne. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is a great defense against the dry air on planes. (Has anyone tried the advanced serum? I'm curious.)

For the party: Drybar answered my travel prayers with a new all-in-one product released this fall. Triple Sec is a volumizer, texturizer and dry shampoo. It also has just enough hold so you can skip the hairspray. It's perfect for refreshing plane hair, and the mini version saves a ton of space in my bag. Like hair products, perfumes are difficult to travel with. If your favorite scent doesn't come in a rollerball version, pour a little in an atomizer.


Nails: If your manicure doesn't last the weekend (mine never does) and you can't stand chipped nails, Butter's 2 in 1 remover and nail prep pads are great to have stashed in your bag. Top with a layer of Dior Nail Glow so you can still look polished. It's prettier than clear but not a real color for those who are terrible at painting their own nails (me).

Before bed: Tarte Fresh Eyes makeup remover wipes save room in your tiny liquids bag. I'm convinced Dr. Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Peel is some sort of sorcery. This is the best thing you can do for tired skin - you'll basically wake up with a new face. And they come in individual packets so you only have to pack as many as you need. A quick scrub with Fresh Sugar Lip Polish helps keep dried out lips from chapping. (Top with another layer of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.) A few drops of Clarins Radiance Booster in your moisturizer gives you just a touch of self tanning - never orange - just enough to look a bit more glowey. Happy travels!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friendsgiving Favors: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Last year's Friendsgiving favors were such a hit that I decided to make the same pumpkin spice cake, just in a different form. Sometimes it's important to stick with what works! So this year I used this giant muffin tin to make oversized pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Sending guests home with something they can eat for breakfast the next day is so appreciated.* And how beautiful are these tags by Charlie Whiskey!
*Now for the confession I mentioned yesterday: by the end of the evening I was so caught up in all the excitement, and I'd had so much wine that I completely forgot to send all but 2 guests home with their muffins. This is very embarrassing for me to admit, but I think it's important that I do. No host or party is perfect! And that's okay. (I think I'm trying to convince myself of this more than you!) On the bright side, I kept the tags and can reuse them another time.
This pumpkin spice recipe is very versatile - see it here in these mini wedding cakes I made for a Newlywed Party