True Blood Party Recap & Halloween Party Ideas!

Halloween party ideas style trials blood splatter cake

Yesterday was the season finale of True Blood (maybe you followed along at #RIPTrueBlood and #TrueToTheEnd ). After watching the series since the beginning, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to throw a themed watch party and say farewell in style! These ideas would work for any Halloween party too and were super easy to pull together. Whether you’re wanting to throw a spooky party or specifically vampire or blood theme, these ideas would work great!

food and drink party ideas halloween

style trials halloween food ideas true blood finale watch party #riptrueblood I obviously stuck with a red theme for food. Red Terra Chips and Coke cans were as easy as just buying and putting them out, and I also made up an easy and tasty treat of Ritz crackers, cream cheese, and pomegranate seeds. Sweet peppers laid around ranch dressing also added visual and yumminess appeal. Sticking with the Cajun theme of the show, Hubby made a delicious Bon Temps, Louisiana style gumbo and cornbread! And of course any red juice would do for the True Blood, but we used V8 fruit juice and put it in a carafe. The color was perfect. If I had more time I would have printed off a True Blood label to add to it. If that’s something you’d like to do, you can get a free printable True Blood label here, courtesy of PixelWorlds. And of course there was…dun, dun dunnnn….the cake….

diy splatter cake halloween party

diy blood splatter red velvet cake halloween party

I’m not really a baker, so I was quite proud of my blood splatter cake! It had to be red velvet of course, and I used traditional cream cheese frosting. To make the blood splatters I simply mixed the below as a starting point and adjusted for color and consistency as needed:


Blood Splatter Recipe

(courtesy of Yum and Yummer’s Slaughter Cake)

  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • 1 or 2 drops of green food coloring (this will darken the red and make it look more realistic)
  • 1 tsp chocolate sauce
  • 1 tbsp water (or add more if too thick, it will splatter better)

 Before splattering, take the cake to a location that will not be a problem to get messy because you will end up getting food coloring everywhere which is difficult to remove and stains. Possibly outside on top of a protective covering somewhere.  I found this looks best when you have the cake on the platter it will be served on, so you can add drips to the platter too. You can use something like a basting brush to dip into the “blood,” and let it drip/splatter across the white frosting. I also added faux flowers (pre-washed) and splattered blood on those too.

Look how cool it looks when you cut into it!

red velvet splatter cake slaughter cake

diy splatter tablecloth and halloween decor

A lot of the decorations were bought at a local Dollar Store, and I was pleasantly surprised that they had Halloween decorations out already! I picked up some rubber spiders, rat, mouse, bat and utensils, and also bought a plain white plastic table cloth for $1. I used this tablecloth to create a bloody backdrop with watered down acrylic red paint. For an added effect, I mixed a tad of green to give it a more realistic deep blood red color (similar to the cake splatters), and also added a few bloody hand prints. I set the tablecloth outside when splattering so I wouldn’t get paint all over the house, although I somehow still managed to get red paint on my curtains. UGH! I tried a few methods but found the best blood splatter effect I got was by whipping the watery paint at the canvas and also simply holding the paint brush up high and letting it drip.

diy bloody table cloth halloween party

true blood vampire party decorationsI am sooo reusing that rat for Halloween time….or a practical joke. Lol.

dress the part

 Last, I’m a sucker for playing dress up. I actually had this Merlotte’s Sookie True Blood costume from a previous Halloween costume, so I had no excuse not to dress the part as hostess! If you want to really go all out, let guests know to dress up too!

true blood sookie costume party style trials

 Have you ever thrown a watch party for a popular TV show? What idea would you reuse for a Halloween party? Leave me a comment below!

 

 


Happy 4th of July Freebie!

I know today’s not technically Friday, but it sort of is since we have tomorrow off. As with all holidays, I’m excited for the 4th of July and wanted to share an early Friday Freebie with you (along with some style inspiration)!

You’ve probably heard me talk about Zoya nail polish and checked out my easy nail art tutorials, so you know I am a big advocate of Zoya. I love that they are toxin free nail polishes with over 300 color choices, plus they run great promotions like this one!

4th of july free nail polish zoya

Photo Credit: http://blog.zoya.com

To get your 3 free nail polishes, you have from now until 7/6/14 (11:59 pm EST) to add at least 3 polishes to your cart at Zoya.com. Then use promo code: THREEDOM in the coupon field at checkout, and click “apply.”

The only con is you still have to pay $12 for S&H, but you could technically look at it as $4/bottle with free shipping. Math genius here, lol. However, these polishes normally run $9 a bottle and you’d still have to pay shipping, so it’s a great deal! You can read more details about the promotion here on the Zoya blog.

While you’re at it, make sure to checkout my past 4th of July posts for some style inspiration here and here.

Style Trials 4th of july Patriotic Nail Art TutorialFourth of July Inspiration - StyleTrials

I’ll be taking a 7 hour trek to Pensacola, FL with my Hubby to celebrate, and I’m excited to see family and some killer beach fireworks. I’m especially excited because we plan to spend a day in Destin and Seaside, where they filmed The Truman Show. I’ve never been and have always wanted to!

How will you be spending the 4th?


My Stylish Valentine

It’s the third edition of a StyleTrials Valentine’s Day post! WOW, where has the time gone?! In the past, I had shown Vday looks and a Valentine’s Day nail art tutorial. Today I wanted to inspire you with a few more style options that will make your Valentine swoon!

Style Trials Valentine's Day Outfit Inspiration Looks 2014

Left to Right: Bianca Almond-Toe Platform Red Sole Pump, Nude – Christian Louboutin | Lips – Valentines Day – White Slouchy Oversized Sweatshirt on Etsy | OPI Nails – Nail Lacquer – 2014 Collection, Italian Love Affair | Mark by Mark Jacobs Presents Limited Edition Sunglasses | Love Heart White TeeWe Love Fairground | Fairground Bingle Party SkirtLouis Vuitton Stresa PM White Shoulder Bags | Miss Selfridge Infinity Valentines RingsZeagoo Women’s Sheer Sleeve Sequins Peter Vintage Pan Collar Puff Loose Blouse | VALENTINO R.E.D. Dotted Tulle Pleated Skirt | YSL Red Lipstick | Shortcake Story Dress by Modcloth | Christian Louboutin Gwynitta 100 patent-leather sandals

These appeal to my girly, traditional and sweet side. Now if you want more of an #EdgyValentine Vday look with still a classy vibe, try something like the below!

Edgy and Classy Valentine's Day look outift Style TrialsLeft to Right: NIKOS KOULIS 18kt Blackened Gold Spectrum Ring with Diamonds and Hematite | CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Patent Spikes Pigalle 120 Pumps 35 Black | Plunging V Cross Back Bodycon Dress by Oh My Love – TopShop | French Connection Spike & Stone Stretch BraceletFrench Connection Spike & Stone Stretch Bracelet – Asos | Rare London Red Berry Plunge Dress | Aeropostale Pretty Little Liars Hanna Cluster Short-Strand NecklaceGiuseppe Zanotti Cutout animal-print calf hair sandals

You can mix metals and spikes with red, leather, vamp or red lips, and/or add in a funky print like Cheetah to edge up the look! If you pair that with classic designs such as pencil skirts and polished pointed toe heels, you’ll achieve a sophisticated yet edgy vibe. For a funkier style, do the above but pair it with miniskirts and Kitschy motifs!

What will you be wearing for date night this Valentine’s Day?

 


Clarisonic Mia 2 Review

I had fallen back into my lazy skincare routine of just using face wipes to remove my makeup, or even worse, falling asleep with it on. Although face wipes are a good quick fix, they didn’t give me that I-just-had-a-facial type of clean. This completely changed when my sisters bought me a Clarisonic Mia 2 for my birthday!

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review

All of a sudden, I had smoother, softer, more toned skin with smaller pores and fewer blackheads. And I’ve only been using it for a few weeks now! Watch my video review and make sure to add this to your holiday wish-list if you haven’t already.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review Title

The features of the Mia 2 Facial Sonic Cleanser are:

  • 2 varying sonic speeds for even very sensitive skin
  • 1-minute pulsing timer
  • Interchangeable brush heads (some meant for different skin types and purposes, or simply replacements)
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Waterproof device that’s rechargeable
  • Primes skin so it absorbs topical treatments better, such as moisturizers and serums

If you’re interested in getting one yourself, make sure to check out these great special sets & offers from Clarisonic!

Happy Holidays!


Start Your Online Shopping at Ebates for Cashback!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

This holiday season I’ve done A LOT of online shopping. As in, that’s pretty much it. The thought of braving the crowded mall terrifies me, and it’s so fun getting packages in the mail. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably seen a few quick tips about starting all your online shopping at Ebates. I wanted to explain a little more, because if you don’t, you’re literally leaving free money on the table. Annnnd……

That Makes Me A Sad Panda

Photo Credit: http://s64.photobucket.com/user/mflissinger/media/sadpanda.gif.html

For me, shopping and getting a deal go hand-in-hand, and I love earning cashback for things I was going to buy anyways! All you have to do is signup for Ebates here (it’s free), search for the retailer you’re wanting to purchase from, click it, and a new window opens up taking you directly to that retailer’s website. Then just make your purchase as normal, and you’ll earn a percentage of cashback! It’s that easy!

ebates

To get paid, you simply link your Paypal account to Ebates, and they will automatically put the money in your account every quarter. I’ve already earned over $150 cashback for shopping, so I’m a HUGE advocate.

The other great part is when you search for a retailer, all of the current promotions, coupons, or deals for that retailer will show up. You still get those deals, plus you double-dip by earning cashback when you start at Ebates. Let’s do an example.

Right now, Express is having 40% off their entire store sitewide. I found it on Ebates below, and if I start there I will still earn the 40% off, PLUS I’ll earn 2.5% cashback! I’ve seen certain retailers as high as 10% cashback, and it all really adds up!

Style Trials Shopping Ebates Example and Steps

Ebates also has many retailers running double cashback right now. It ranges from Macy’s at 6% cashback, to Sephora at 8%, and even retailers like LivingSocial, Amazon, and Walmart! Yep, they’re on there too.

December 2013 Sales, Holiday Deals & Coupons | EbatesThis is great for holiday shopping, redeeming holiday giftcards you’ll be getting, or really any online shopping. So seriously, don’t forget to signup for Ebates and start your online shopping there. Once you get the hang of it, I promise you’ll be thinking “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

Happy shopping!


6 Steps to the Perfect Bridal Shower

Special thanks to Gigis Cupcakes who provided the cupcakes for this event. All opinions are 100% mine.

This past weekend I helped throw a bridal shower for my beautiful older sister, Danielle. While going through this process of co-hosting as sister and Matron of Honor, I narrowed down 6 steps to share that helped make this the perfect bridal shower.

1.) THEME

Picking a theme sets the tone for the shower, and will keep it a memorable experience for all. Try to pick something relevant to the bride, whether it’s based on a favorite motif, location, the Bride’s heritage, or simply color scheme.

For Danielle, we went with a girly Paris themed bridal shower (based on a  sister trip we took to Paris) which was complimented with black, pale pinks, and white details. Choosing a color scheme and sticking to it also helps tie together the theme.

style trials paris themed bridal shower details and banner

Zazzle paris fleur de lis bridal shower invites

 

2.) INVITES

The invites should also go with the theme.

For types of invites, you can go eco-friendly with an evite, or find good options online at places like MagnetStreet, Wedding Paper Divas, or Zazzle.

*Bonus Tip*

Many times you can find a Groupon or similar daily deal for places like Zazzle or Vistaprint. Also, if you’ve narrowed down the style and aren’t crunched for time, make sure to signup for emails from that site so you can purchase when a promo is running. If it’s around the holidays, there will be really discounted promotions for Holiday Cards, which you can really use for any cards, such as shower invites (I’ve seen up to 75% off!).

 We went with this fleur de lis invite from Zazzle, which matched the banner you saw in the picture above.

3.) THEMED FOOD

We hired a local caterer, and selected menu items to go with a Parisian theme. The menu included a variety of mini croissant sandwiches, cheese and fruit, baked brie, stuffed mushrooms, and mini quiches.

4.) SHOWSTOPPING DESSERT!

Let’s be honest. Women LOVE dessert…so make it memorable! I dedicated an entire table to really highlight the dessert, and put it in the location where we planned to open presents – right next to the Bride’s chair. My friends at Gigi’s Cupcakes in Orlando provided an awesome mix of full-size and mini cupcakes, creating a fun “Eiffel” cupcake tower! Guests were literally salivating over these gorgeous cupcakes.

Gigi's cupcakes logoGigi's Cupcakes orlando bridal showerblush and ivory gigis cupcakes orlando weddingGigi’s has a ton of flavor options that change weekly to suite anyone’s taste (gluten free included), ranging from Strawberry Shortcake to Pumpkin White Chocolate! We kept the flavors classic: White cake and pink butter cream frosting, and chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. Delish! I especially loved the candy pearls and crystal sugar on top.

style trials cupcake attack

Cupcake ATTACK!!!!

Beautiful cupcakes  can really help make any event memorable, and are a fun alternative to cake. Gigi’s Cupcakes has multiple locations in more than 22 states, and you can easily place an order online! Find your nearest Gigi’s location here.

paris theme bridal shower guest book activity game

5.) GAMES AND ACTIVITES

The wonderful bridesmaids focused on a series of games/activities, giving away Paris themed prizes. We spread out them out throughout the event, so people were entertained from start to finish.

  • Unique Guest Book: In lieu of a traditional guest book, we did something a little more creative. As guests entered, we took their photo and they were directed to write a note to the bride. Afterwards, we’ll mount the photo of each guest along with their note in the custom Paris notebook.
  • Newlywed Trivia Game: This is a funny activity for the group to watch and learn a little more about the bride and groom. Before the shower, we asked the groom a series of questions about their relationship and had his answers prepared. At the shower, Danielle was surprised with the series of questions, and had to answer them out loud to the group. For ever question she got wrong, we made her chew bubble gum until she had a whole cheek full!
  • Love Song Game: Guests were tasked with writing down as many songs they could think of that had the word “love” in the title. The one with the most answers won. The hitch? The winner had to sing a line or two from each song to prove they knew it!
  • Purse Game: This is a classically fun game. A list of random items were put on a sheet with a point value association. The more unique the item, the more points. Guests rummaged through their purses and marked off what was in it. The one with the most points won!
  • Slideshow: The groom actually surprised my sister with a beautiful slideshow for all to watch at the shower! It definitely made her shed a few tears. 🙂

6.) DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS!

It’s the little details that will help keep your theme together and make this something guests will remember. Since we were going with a Parisian theme, we used Eiffel Towers, fleur de lis, “ooh la las,” and “amour” motifs. The banner in the first picture (from Vistaprint) helped personalize the party to Danielle, and became a great photo spot. Checkout a few other details:

Paris bridal shower details style trials

Paris box to hold the utensils.

paris theme bridal shower candy details

“Amour” matching stickers put on lollipops or peppermint patties (inset in moss covered Styrofoam) add a pop of color to the favor table.

Macaroon Jewelry Boxes Style Trials

Macaroon jewelry boxes for favors!

I ordered these adorable macaroon jewelry boxes from PricewiseFavors. They came already packaged in a cute box with a french saying “Pour Vous Avec L’Amour,” (For You with Love).

paris theme bridal shower details punch fountain

We setup a drink station with a silver punch fountain, champagne, wine, sodas and lemonade.

To tie together the theme, we printed pictures from our sister trip to Paris and put in frames all over the party.

style trials parisian themed bridal shower

Style Trials Paris theme style and pretty bride

The bride paid attention to details as well, looking beautiful with an etsy flower hair accessory, neutral and blush outfit, pearl accents, and a flawless hairdo.

What steps would you add to throw the ultimate bridal shower? What bridal shower themes and games/activities do you love?

Also, make sure to follow Gigi’s on Facebook and Twitter for all your cupcake dreams! 🙂


How to Make an Easy Tulle Tutu

 It’s almost Halloween! One of my favorite times of year, and I needed a tulle tutu skirt for a costume. Those things can be really expensive, but I found they’re super easy (and cheap) to make yourself. I wanted to share my easy DIY tulle tutu technique, which can be applied to a variety of things such as baby skirts, pet outfits, or even adult costumes!

How to Make an Easy Tulle Tutu:

tulle tutu skirt finished diy

Tools Needed:

  • Between 45 yards – 60 yards of Tulle Spool (approximately 6″ wide) needed for an adult skirt. Joann’s Fabric sold these for $2.50 each, and I used 3 but could have used 4 spools if I wanted an even fuller skirt.
  • Ribbon of choice (I got one to match the tulle color) or elastic band for the waistband. If you use a ribbon, you will be tying it around your waist instead of stretching it out to get into it.
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure

Style Trials Orange Tulle Spool

Step 1: Measure out the tulle about 2 feet long for an adult skirt. If it’s a pet skirt or baby skirt, it may need to be about half of that.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 1

Step 2: This is probably the easiest and quickest way to get your tulle into 2 foot long strips. Weave the spool of tulle back and forth until the entire spool is stacked on top of each other in attached 2 foot length “strips.” The stacked ends should look like the picture below, and it’s okay if it’s not perfect. Some ends may be a little longer than others since the next step will even everything out.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 2

Step 3: Simply cut the ends off! Just cut them straight across, and this will ensure the ends are even and now separated. When you do this on both sides, you’ll then have completely separated tulle strips that are about 2 feet long. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for all spools of tulle.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 3

Step 4: Measure out how long your elastic or ribbon should be on your waist. If you’re using ribbon like me, allow an extra 1 1/2 feet on each end so you have excess ribbon to tie a bow and let it hang down in the back. Then tie one strip of tulle at each end of what will actually make the tutu, so you can mark it off and know what needs to be filled in.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 4

Step 5: Start tying individual strips of the pre-cut 2 ft. length tulle to fill in the skirt. You can just make a knot, and push it together to create fullness.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 5

Completed tulle tutu!

Style Trials orange diy how to make an easy tulle tutu skirt

What do you think of this project, and how will you use it?

UPDATE!

Here’s a picture of my total #diy costume that I used this tutu for. For all you social media fans, I’m “Blogger!”

Style Trials Halloween Blogger Costume DIY Tutu


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