How to Host a Galentine’s Day Party

February 12, 2016

galentinestablesettingWhat’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, Leslie Knope and her lady friends leave their husbands and their boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!

Does anyone get the Parks and Rec reference?! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we can’t forget about Galentine’s Day- the spoof off of Valentine’s Day where you celebrate the love with your gal pals. Valentine’s Day can often be a miserable day for single people because of the overwhelming feeling of being alone and unloved- cue the indulgence of copious amounts of chocolate and wine- so, Galentine’s is all about being thankful for the love you do have in your life through your many friendships.Galentinesdayhosting galentinespartyTo show you how we set up for this glamourous party, we met up with our newest living + style contributor, Orfa Fermin, who graciously offered us her home to host this event. Through the years we’ve discovered the secret to hosting a successful Galentine’s Day party is in the sweets. As long as you have tasty cupcakes and Valentine’s inspired goodies (conversational hearts, chocolates, cookies, etc.) you fill the Valentine’s “void” if you will. Oh, and champagne is always a good idea. You don’t need to spend much at all to ensure your lady friends have a ball. In fact Hannah hosted a successful Galentine’s get together on a college student budget for the past three years in her dorm room with just mini cupcakes and bubbly. Galentinesdaypartycookiesgalentinesdayhannah

The Attire

Sticking to the Galentine’s theme, we asked guests to embrace the holiday by dressing in red, pink, or neutrals, and asked that they have fun with sparkly accent jewelry. There’s no real wrong way to dress though. The point is to look and feel comfortable with your girl friends.

Hannah’s Outfit Ingredients: dress- Forever 21, tights- Kate Spade, boots- Aldo, and necklace- Loft

Orfa’s Outfit Ingredients: top- Forever 21, pants- Madewell, shoes- Talbots

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The Decor

In order to create a festive yet comfortable environment, first you’ll need to choose a color scheme that suits your fancy. We gravitated towards a theme centered around pink and gold with a touch of light blue. That way we not only pulled from conventional Valentine’s colors, but also incorporated the overarching feeling of togetherness by adding the blue. After all when it comes to your color scheme- in a true Galentine’s spirit- don’t limit your love to just one.

As for seating, create options around the room where groups of 2-4 can sit, as well as a main area where a larger group can interact. You can always bring in stools or chairs from other areas of your home and rearrange your furniture to optimize the space.

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The Refreshments

Create a designated area for cocktails and refreshments and add festive decor to keep it consistent with the rest of the room. You can use a bar cart or create your own with a console table. If you’re hosting brunch, a mimosa bar is always a good idea. If not, maybe opt for a sweet drink like lemonade. We served ours with colored straws and fruit skewers.

We were excited to serve baked goods from our local bakery gem, Crust Artisan Bakeshop. Crust even did custom heart cookies for us! We were especially smitten with the large and mini pastel pink macarons.

cheerscrustbakeshop cupcakegalentinesdaygirlsThe Activities

An activity is by no means necessary, but it can be a fun addition that gives your party a focus. Twenty Question Cards- A throwback to the classic game—can make for a great icebreaker activity if not everyone knows each other. The get-to-know-each other playing cards are printables that can be downloaded for free from: Get as creative as you want, but don’t overthink it—the whole point is to spend quality time together.

Nail art: Host a mani/pedi party for your pals.

Get crafty: Pick a fun project that you can all do together, or provide a variety of colored paper, pens, glitter, and other craft supplies, and let people make their own Valentines at the party.

Play games: Charades, Taboo, Celebrity bowl, Apples to Apples… they’re all more fun after a couple mimosas!

Watch a movie: Once brunch is over, bust out the popcorn and host a screening of a crowd favorite like Mean Girls, Bridesmaids, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, or another favorite rom-com or comedy.


The Party Favors

For those who know the show Parks and Rec, Leslie Knope is an over productive angel-goddess who gives everyone in attendance at Galentine’s Day party a bouquet of hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait made from the crushed bottles of their favorite diet soda, and a personalized 5,000 word essay about why they are is so awesome. But here in the real world, we must be realistic. If your friends are anything like our, getting everyone together for laughter and mimosas is enough of a gift in and of itself. But if you want to go the extra mile, here are some ideas:

Gift bags: If you want to send everyone home with a treat (yo self!) bag, fill it with fun, girly, and affordable items like stickers, candy hearts, and your favorite beauty and polish goodies.

Secret Cupid: Want to avoid feeling sad because you do not have a significant other? Try playing “Secret Cupid” with your gal pals. It’s like Secret Santa, except… all Valentines-y. Have friends drew names beforehand and set a $25 limit, and everyone brings a special gift for a special someone.

Go grade-school style: Make Valentine containers for each person using manila envelopes, paper bags, or shoe boxes. Ask your guests to bring a card for each person and then pass them out.

Lipstick & nail polish exchange: Ask guests to bring a $10-or-under lipstick or nail polish for a gift exchange!

galentinesgifts galentinesrosesrosesdesserttablegalentinesfunGET THE LOOK:

Heart straws, cutout hearts, and paper pompoms: Dollar tree

Ceiling decor, balloons, paper bags, white gift boxes, colored pompoms, black and white XoXo plates, and plastic bronze utensils: Michael’s

Gold balloons, tinted glasses (Lilly Pulitzer), gold dove candle holders, and ombre metal wine cooler: Target

Marble serving tray: Crate & Barrel

White cake stand: Home Goods

Heart candy dish, turquoise tinted bar glasses, and bar cart: Thrift store finds

Special thank you to Crust Artisan Bakeshop for donating the wonderful treats!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

+ Orfa (our newest contributor)

Spotlight Series: My Family Home Tour

October 24, 2015


I’d like to introduce a very special woman to the blog! Her name is Linda Martin and she is my mother, or as I like to call her, “Mobear”- short for Mama Bear. Today I’d like to welcome you into the home I grew up in. For those of you who know me well, you know that my home is a remarkable place. Not only is it inviting and warm, but also it is filled with so much love.

I strongly feel that as soon as you walk through the front door you can feel the presence of a family even if they are not there. Right away your eyes meet an array of festive autumn décor and wagging tails. The air is seasoned with the spicy and sweet aromas of cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin. My mother embraces the whimsy of each season, transforming the home from functional to magical.

The primitive and folky home décor reflects a mix of traditional family values and the individual quirkiness of my mom. My mother understands the importance of detail – fairy lights strung on antique orchard ladders, hand picked fall inspired ornaments on the holiday tree, and vignettes depicting the beauty of autumn complete with amber leaves and outdoor critters.


Name: Linda Martin

Occupation: Fourth grade reading teacher

Interests: Cooking, gardening, home decorating, antiquing, reading, animals, playing cards, watching sports, architecture, and travel

Favorite Stores: Lush Fresh Homemade Cosmetics, Willow Tree Primitives, Cabot Mill Antiques, and Territory Ahead


Let’s talk about your home! Do you own or rent, and how long have you been living in your current place? I have lived and owned my current home for the last twenty five years.


What home items are important to invest in? What items do you recommend saving on? For me the best bones of the house is comfortable furniture that lets your company know they are welcomed and you want them to stay for a sweet visit. Also, the kitchen is extremely important and a great, functional stove & refrigerator is a must and never ever skimp on kitchen tools. Your personal taste will determine your expenses.


What was the biggest design challenge you faced in decorating your home, and how did you overcome it? Working with the confines of the floor plans, I continually rearrange furniture which helps with design challenges. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do something. I use outdoor materials inside like using chicken coop wire to create a wall. Let your imagination dictate.


How would you describe your personal decorating style? My personal decorating style would fall under eclectic. Truly a mix of primitive, whimsy, classic, folk art, theme based (seasonal), English, Italian and French influence as well as Americana. I guess I can say I covered the bases. I began developing my own style after I traveled Europe extensively.


How long did it take for your home to look the way that it does now? My home is a work in progress. I see it more of a process and not a product. Constantly transforming.


Where would you like to see yourself in five years? Very specifically, I see myself on a saltwater farm in Brunswick Maine working my magic to create a warm, inviting home where people come to gather and don’t want to leave.

-I’ve seen first hand how much this dream means to her. She’s wanted this as long as I’ve been alive and her passion has inspired me to keep dreaming. Even though she has built a career for herself and a lovely home, she still dares to dream bigger of living a totally sustainable lifestyle and sharing her passions with others. 


Every time I return home I never find the home in the same way that I left it. The space is always changing and embodying my mother’s ever growing and never stagnant spirit. The home has become a creative outlet for her; one that she can admire everyday and share proudly with loved ones.

Her passion for design and styling has been a defining source of inspiration for me growing up. She tells a story without having to speak. Everything from her handmade jewelry to each carefully selected décor piece is truly a reflection of her warm, inviting, and joyful soul.

Thank you Mobear for always encouraging my creative spirit. I owe so much of my personal growth to your unwavering support and love. Every time I’m home I feel an overwhelming sense of welcome and peace. Thank you for everything!



First Apartment: Recent College Grad Edition

June 4, 2015

Today we welcome a very special guest on the blog! Introducing Sadie Bonang, one of Hannah’s dearest friends and cousin, as well as recent college graduate from Emerson College. Sadie lives with her girlfriend Sarah and their cat Lumi (short for Lumiere) in a cute little apartment in Maine. We are drawn the most to how well Sadie has turned her space into a home in just a few short months. If you’re in need of some apartment inspiration or are a first time renter, grab a pen & paper and take note! Sadie has done a wonderful job styling her place.

colorfullivingroom Firstapartment

Occupation? I’m a waitress at Gritty McDuff’s Micro Brewery and Pub.

Interests? I love playing the mandolin and painting with watercolors.

Favorite stores? Three of my favorite stores would probably be Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and H&M.

livingroomcolors firstapartmentrecords

Let’s talk about your home! Do you own or rent, and how long have you been living in your current place? I found this place only after two days of looking and after viewing it I had the keys two days later, it was that perfect (the claw foot tub and exposed brick in the kitchen helped too!) I’m renting my home right now and I’ve been living here for 4 months.bathroomfirstapartment bathroom

What advice do you have for recent college grads looking to buy and decorate their first apartment? Don’t get everything at one place! the shopping part is so fun and there are always interesting apartment items that will jump out at you when you don’t expect it. Taking your time to decorate and organize will help you figure out what kind of living style fits you best. Also, not everything needs to be purchased now. Remembering that I’ll have to pack and move out again helps me not overdo it. Finally, don’t always judge an apartment by its craigslist picture (even though sometimes you have to), my current apartment didn’t have three of my favorite aspects of it listed or pictured online, I had to go and view the place just to discover they were there.

bathroomaccents firstapartmentbathroomartbedroom

What was the biggest design challenge you faced in decorating your home, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge was probably were to fit the bed so it wasn’t blocking a door, a window, or electrical outlets. We ended up putting the bed kitty-cornered from one of the corners in the room. The flaws with this is that it takes up a lot of open space in the room and there’s a decent empty chunk behind the bed where the corner is. To remedy these issues, we put a large area rug on the floor to create depth, removed any foot-of-the-bed furniture (such as a trunk), and we didn’t use a footboard. We also added more decorative touches around the headboard to make up for the empty space behind it.


What home items are important to invest in? I think it’s important to invest in things that make you comfortable such as sheets, pillows, and towels. Spending a little more on those things will make a big difference. I’d recommend saving on kitchen items such as dishes and cookware for your first apartment because a lot of it doesn’t end up getting used and its a lot to pack once you move again. I made it through my first two apartments without ever getting a microwave! Also, things like mugs, plates, and cups can be fun to thrift and purchase cheaply and eclectically.

kitchen1 lumi

How long did it take for your home to look the way that it does now? It certainly took a few months for everything to come together and look the way I want it to. The couch has taken on about three different spots in the living room so far haha.

kitchenwall firstapartmentkitchen

Where would you like to see yourself in five years? I’ll definitely be living in another apartment, but I’m just not sure whether I want it to be in Los Angeles, Maine, or somewhere in between.


 Thank you Sadie for welcoming us into your space!! xx


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

Nick’s Bedroom Tour

April 20, 2015


Greetings, from the land of work and tiredness. This has been one of the most hectic months of my life. I’ve been working, doing an internship, graduating college and preparing for what comes next. Most of this gets done in my room. I’m going to let you into my world a little by showing off my space. I’ve only been here for about a year, so some of the walls are a little sparse, but I recently got a bunch of painting supplies and I’m hoping to make some pieces to add some color.


As a matter of fact, this is a piece I made a couple of years ago. It’s a mouth, from the inside. I hate my teeth, so in a weird way, my art highlights teeth. The yellow used to be brighter but like an amature, I kept it in the sun. I’m starting to get attached to the new faded look. Fades are big in menswear, and now I see them everywhere.


 The art above my bed was a print that my dad passed on to me. I keep it central because home is where the heart is, and I’ve got one of those. It also helps bring the room’s focus to the bed. It’s a bedroom after all, and I try to keep the desk from being the main focus of the room. I built that desk last summer with some pieces from ikea and cheap particle board. I cut it out to fit the door and and the heater, so it’s a tailored fit. It’s where I get down to the brass tax.


Check out the mass here. It’s a mess, but I can get away with it because it’s in a leather valet. The lighter case was my moms from when she was my age. I don’t smoke, but I like to have it around. The sunglasses are Ralph Lauren Purple Label that I grabbed at TJ-Maxx for $45. They’re foldable, but are smaller than traditional Persols. The rest of this just is stuff I use too much to ever find a place to store. They’re my essentials, all in one place.

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 Those  jeans give me life. I wore them for 3 years without a wash after picking them up at Gap for $17. I caved, like a nomadic settler, and washed them this past winter. The fades were all I’d dared to hope for and more. Note the unique wear pattern. It’s is hard to get such bleeding perfection without the denim being high quality. They’re made with a midweight selvedge that was originally much darker. Wearing them in was a stylistic investment at the time. Now I have around 5 pairs of raw selvedge denim all at different points at their wear cycles that I rotate through. You’ll also notice that I had to crudely repair the blown out crotch many a time. I still wear them a lot. They’re one of my favorite things.


This is Rose. She’s my roommate’s dog. She loves the camera.


The built-in is where I keep all my shoes. I recognize that it should be a bookcase, but come on…priorities. I do use the bottom drawers as a dresser though, so at least it’s purpose is universal.


I built that closet extension when I realized I had nowhere for my outerwear. I’ve always hung my pants, so I’ve always struggled to house my wardrobe. Pants rule, limited space drools.

That’s all there is to show. Now you know what my life looks like.

Be well!


If you missed our earlier post, Nick is our in-house menswear guru. He has worked on The Fashion Cookbook this past school year, helping to streamline our operations as well as aid us with big picture planning as we continue to grow into a larger business. He also has a (fantastic) taste for design and style. From time to time he will bring his insightful perspective on menswear to the blog. Check out more about him here.


(photo via Worcester Magazine)

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