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Party & Event Ideas

What to Pack for Spring Break

March 8, 2017

 

If you have the itch to travel after being cooped up all winter long, the perfect excuse is fast approaching: Spring Break! Whether you’re headed to the water, the city or the mountains, we’ve put together a solid packing list, luggage included!

BEACH VACAY

If you’re headed to a beachy destination, whether that be Miami or Playa del Carmen or St. Thomas, you’ll want to fill your suitcase with easy, breezy resort-friendly clothing that can stand the sand and surf.

What to pack: Multiple swimsuits are a must! For maximum options, bring a printed and a solid two-piece such as this floral halter top and bikini bottoms and coordinating mint-green bandeau and matching bottoms; then you can mix and match the two suits for four different looks! Pack a couple of swimsuit cover-ups, such as versatile tunic and a breezy maxi that can do double duty beyond pool-side for a night out. Fun sunglasses are also a must, like this pair with ocean-blue frames and flashy mirrored lenses.

Pack it in: This hard-sided suitcase printed with tropical florals that will get you in the mood for your warm-weather getaway.

 

 

CITY SIGHTSEEING

Are you embarking on a trip to explore New York City, San Francisco or Chicago? Assemble a vacation wardrobe fit for an urban adventurer.

What to pack: Build a compact capsule wardrobe of basic, versatile pieces. That could mean your favorite jeans, black leggings, solid-colored tops and layering pieces that go with everything, like a basic black bomber or an olive green anorak. A neutral cross-body bag and comfortable shoes are a must: Think black ballets flats, low-heeled booties or a sleek sneaker. If a night at the ballet or the opera is in the plans, that’s a job for a little black dress, or its edgier counterpart, the little black jumpsuit.

Pack it in: A basic black suitcase with a sweet dose of personality in the form of polka dots.

 

 

OUTDOORSY RETREAT

If a sojourn to the great outdoors–perhaps hiking in Colorado, outdoor desert yoga in Phoenix or horseback-riding in Montana–is in your future, stack your backpack with athleisure wear.

What to pack: Outfit your bod for active days with moisture-wicking tops and stretchy leggings you can move in, plus a zip-up pullover or cowl-neck cover-up that can keep you warm when temps dip. Throw in your favorite colorful sneakers, a sturdy water bottle and sunscreen, and you’re set!

Pack it in: This rolling backpack with an eye-catching tribal print.

 

Where are you headed for Spring Break? Share your destination in the comments!

Beauty Family Party & Event Ideas Shop

Bachelorette Party Planning

February 27, 2017

Bachelorette Party Planning

Attention bachelorette party planners! If your best friend forever, beloved sister or cherished cousin is planning her trip down the aisle, it’s time for you to start planning the bachelorette party. If the traditional night of bar-hopping isn’t exactly the bride’s style, choose from these alternatives to make it a night to remember.

 

SPA DAY

Does your guest of honor’s entourage span the ages from teen nieces to mothers and grandmothers of the bride? There’s nothing like a day at the spa to unite generations. Call ahead to your favorite local salon or day spa and book services of your choice, whether it be mani-pedis, facials or massages. As a parting gift to the bride, load up this beautiful tote with pampering gifts such as bath salts, candles and shower gel.

WEEKEND GETAWAY

Pack your bags (these Pucci floral cases will do!) and get out of town for a group trip. It doesn’t matter whether you go far or stay near—it’s the company that counts! For a lower-budget getaway, book a nearby hotel with an on-site pool and restaurant and stage a staycation. For a big splurge, pick a destination that’s special to the bride—maybe that’s a road trip to Vegas a la “The Hangover,” a pool party in Palm Springs or a ski trip to Boulder—and get outta town.

GO GOURMET

If your lady wolf pack tends toward the foodie side, sign up for a cooking class together. Check with your local community college, culinary school or kitchen store for options. Be sure to snap pics of everyone in action as well as your final culinary creations, then print your favorite photos to assemble in this Friends Forever album ($3.99) to give to the bride as a keepsake.

RETRO FUN

For a dose of nostalgia, recreate a childhood memory from the bride’s childhood. That might be spending a day at an amusement park, roller rink, laser tag arena or miniature golf course. Follow up the throwback fun with a group dinner or some decidedly grown-up fun, like a round of drinks at a wine bar or karaoke at your favorite local haunt. For a keepsake for the bride from the whole crew, have all each guest add a message or doodle on this autograph frame ($12.99).

Comment below and tell us what other fun ideas you have for a bachelorette party!

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Couples Game Night Ideas

February 13, 2017

Valentine’s Day is the biggest date night of the year, but that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to vie for a reservation at a fancy restaurant like everyone else in town. Hosting your own game night for two at home can bring out your playful sides. We’ve got four different game night suggestions to choose from based on when you met your partner. Pick from the options below and, in the end, everyone wins!

 

IN GRADE SCHOOL

Take yourself back in time with some of your favorite childhood pastimes. Play card games such as Go Fish or Uno, or whimsical board games such as Candyland, Chutes & Ladders or Twister.
On the menu: Continue the old-school theme by making mac ’n’ cheese, hot dogs or PBJs. Then, pick your favorite lunchroom drink and make re-imagine it as an adult beverage with the addition of your favorite spirit. Vodka and lemonade or rum and Hawaiian Punch are obvious choices, but you’re only limited by your own creativity (Ecto Cooler and Midori, anyone?). For dessert, popsicles, pudding cups or ice cream cones would be the perfect finishing touch.

 

IN HIGH SCHOOL

If you and your sweetie met in high school, take a trip down memory lane with a game that reminds you a sport you played, like Table Top Tennis, or tried-and-true a classic such as Monopoly. To really harken back to the kissing games of your youth, surprise your partner with a two-person game of Spin the Bottle or 7 Minutes in Heaven.
On the menu: Assemble a spread of snacks inspired by your favorite nostalgic treats of the time. Depending on when you met, that might be anything from pizza bagels to Doritos to s’mores. Make a toast with whichever soda you loved as a teenager–maybe it’s Dr. Pepper or Orange Crush–served in champagne flutes just for fun.

 

IN COLLEGE

Did you hit it off with your significant other at freshmen orientation, chemistry lab or a Greek party? Then a college-themed game night is just the ticket. See if you still have your drinking game prowess with the Bingo Shot Glass Game or Boozeball Shot Glass Game.
On the menu: This one’s a no brainer: Pizza and beer, of course! Order delivery from your favorite local pizzeria or buy all the fixing at the grocery store (dough, cheese, sauce and your favorite toppings) and roll one out together.

 

IN THE REAL WORLD

If you met as adults, it’s time to break out those board games that are just for grown-ups: Think Cards Against Humanity, Battle of the Sexes, Dirty Minds or Rotten Apples.
On the menu: Recreate a meal from one of your early dates, whether that was burgers and fries and a bar or a multi-course meal at a swanky restaurant. Or for less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing, throw a wine party for two with a cheese and charcuterie platter and a bottle of your favorite vino.

Décor Family Food Party & Event Ideas Shop

Homemade Raspberry Valentine Pop Tarts

February 10, 2017

Homemade Raspberry Valentine Pop Tarts

As a kid of the 80’s, Valentine’s Day meant making valentines boxes out of whatever you could find at home-most of us getting really creative with a cereal or shoe box, construction paper, tin foil, or any other materials we could find around the house.  It meant buying “valograms” for 25 cents through student council to send to your friends.  It meant exchanging valentine cards and all the excitement in seeing what candy you would get.  It meant a school party, where the afternoon was spent eating unhealthy food and playing games.  It was a day full of sugar and sweetness in so many ways!

These days, my favorite thing about Valentine’s Day is just showing the love to those in our lives! Whether homemade valentines sent in the mail, or fun messages wrote to classmates, just personalizing and actually putting love into whatever you give means a lot to some of us.  My favorite is baking fun and yummy treats to give to neighbors, friends, and even mail to our loved ones miles away!!! It’s just a good feeling to know you are thought of!  So this Valentine’s day, give your hand a try at these Raspberry Valentines Heart Shaped Pop Tarts.  Anyone receiving these is sure to feel the love this Valentine’s Day.

 

Raspberry Valentine Pop Tarts

Pastry Dough:

2 C flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 C butter room temp

2 egg yolks

¼ C milk

 

Filling:

Raspberry jam

 

Egg Wash:

1 egg white

1 Tbsp water

(use fork to beat together) and set aside

 

Icing:

1 C Powder Sugar

1 Tbsp Cream

½ tsp almond flavoring

1 Tbs raspberry jam

(can add some red food coloring if you want icing darker)

 

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl.   Cut in 1C unsalted butter with pastry blender.  In separate bowl combine 2 egg yolks and 1/4 C milk. Using pastry blender mix with dry ingredients. Refrigerate dough overnight.

Roll dough (on floured surface) 1/8 inch thick (do not roll thicker, they rise).  Cut out heart shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets. (I use airbake sheets).  Makes about 15 hearts(top and bottoms) of medium sized cookie cutter.  I divided dough in half so I knew how many bottoms I had.

 

Use a small melon baller to place two small drops of raspberry jam as shown.  Use finger to run egg wash around edges of hearts, place another heart on top and gently press around edges being careful not to squeeze jam out.  Then take small chopstick end and press around edges to seal.  Lightly brush with egg white wash and then bake at 350 degrees for 15-18mins, move to cooling rack.  Once completely cooled drizzle with frosting mixture. Let dry before placing in wax paper bags or storage.

 

Décor Party & Event Ideas

DIY Valentine Heart Decor

February 7, 2017
Valentine DIY

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and we have a quick and easy DIY Valentine heart decor project that will have your home swooning in no time.

Gather Supplies

The supplies are simple. Glue gun, heart punch, scrap paper, sticks and any embellishments you want to use make this super easy creation.  If you don’t have a heart paper punch just cut out one heart and use that as your pattern to trace around for the rest of the hearts.

supplies needed

Punch or cut out as many hearts are you want to put on your tree.  Just keep trusting us on the sticks, it turns out super cute.

punch out paper hearts

Arrange

Arrange the sticks in some sort of container. You could use a vase, bucket, or a glass pitcher. Use the glue gun to carefully glue the hearts onto the sticks. We would suggest you arrange the sticks how you want them in the container and then glue the hearts on based on how the the sticks lay naturally. You can glue as many hearts or as little hearts as you want, it’s YOUR creation! You could also do different size hearts or write cute sayings on each heart.

heart sticks

Embellish

Use embellishments to add your own personal style.  You could add glitter or buttons to the hearts.  You know, crafty things like that.  We added a little black and white bakers twine to give the red mason jar a little extra something.

valentine heart

Admire

Step back and admire your new DIY Valentine heart decor You can place this anywhere that needs a little pop of color for the holiday. An end table, shelving or a buffet would all be really cute with this lovely DIY piece.

diy valentine decor

This simple DIY decoration adds that perfect touch for the holiday. Style it with some other products from Gordmans like we did here.

Share with us your creations on Instagram and use the tag #gordmans so we can see the endless possibilities!

Décor Fashion Party & Event Ideas Shop

Dazzling Holiday Details

November 22, 2016
Add a shimmering centerpiece to glam up your table!

String the lights and hit the switch, because it’s time to add a little shimmer and shine to your life this holiday season! Whether it’s a swipe of sequined accents, or a layer of lace over the perfect party dress, our Blog Buddy, Cranberry Tantrums helped us show off several ways to make your home and wardrobe sparkle.

Give your living room a quick glamtastic makeover by swapping out everyday pillows for some in metallic shades. Sequined mermaid pillows (that change colors with the swipe of your hand!) transform like magic and look like total luxury for under $15!

Metallic pillows are the perfect way to transform your home for the holidays!

Metallic pillows are the perfect way to transform your home for the holidays!

Do you have party invitations covering up your fridge? Or maybe you’re just planning an extra festive girls night out? Either way, indulge in a fun and feminine dress—let’s be honest, a skirt with a little twirl never hurt anyone—and a great pair of heels and get ready to hit the town!

Add a shimmering centerpiece to glam up your table!

The perfect holiday tablescape

The fireplace mantle is a perfect place to transform with holiday decor. But you can add touches of cheer to other areas of your home too, like putting a shimmering centerpiece on the dining room table, or adding festive accents to a bar cart. Just turn up your favorite Christmas music album, (is it N’Sync? We won’t tell…) and enjoy getting in the sparkling spirit!

Holiday Bar Cart

Holiday Bar Cart

Click here to see more photos of how Cranberry Tantrums got holiday ready with Gordmans! 

Family Food Party & Event Ideas Shop

How To Host A Friendsgiving Dinner

November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition of food and gratitude shared among family. Hot on its heels, hosting Friendsgiving—a gathering for friends held before or after your family Thanksgiving—is becoming a tradition in itself.

In the spirit of “more is more,” why not double the fun and try a Friendsgiving celebration this year? Here’s how to make it happen, from invites to incorporating a charitable cause.

SEND INVITATIONS

Enlist the help of your kiddos to make invitations out of traced-hand turkeys and deliver them by snail mail or in person to guests, or go easy and electronic with a Friendsgiving-themed email invitation.

SET THE DRESS CODE

As for how fancy or laid-back your Friendsgiving is, that’s up to you. Feel free to declare an all-sweatpants dress code (perhaps you could call it “pajama chic”?) or even a cocktail party theme if you’re so inclined. It’s your party and you can dress up (or down) as much as you want to!

INCORPORATE SERVICE

Consider using your celebration to support a cause you care about. Ask guests to bring a canned good donation for a local food pantry or spend time together after dinner making care packages for an organization that serves people in need.

PLAN THE MENU

When it comes to the menu, the options are only limited to your creativity. For a day-after-Thanksgiving open house, invite your guests to bring their leftovers and set up a buffet. Make turkey sandwiches dressed with gravy and cranberry sauce, or use leftover mashed potatoes to make cheesy potato pancakes (just stir in shredded cheese and pan-fry on your stovetop over medium heat). If you’re all turkeyed out, plug in your crockpot and cook up a big batch of chili or your favorite heart-warming stew, or give everyone the day off from cooking and order pizza from your favorite local joint.

HAVE SOME FUN

After you’ve shared a meal and given thanks, plan some amusing entertainment to keep the Friendsgiving fun going. Maybe it’s watching your favorite football team or bringing out the board games. When in doubt, breaking out the blankets and snuggle up for a holiday movie marathon or a consecutive viewing of all of the “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes!

The Perfect Friendsgiving Tablescape!

Décor Family Food Party & Event Ideas

Halloween Party Planning

September 30, 2016

If the usual trick-or-treating just won’t do to celebrate this year, the time is right to host a Halloween party. Whether your guest list is full to the brim with wee little ghosts or full-grown goblins, read on for inspiration on hosting the perfect frightful fete.

FOR THE KIDS

For little ones, keep things more sweet than spooky by decorating with goofy grinning pumpkins, wiley witches or cartoony monsters.

Keep the kiddos busy and take care of dessert in one foul swoop with a decorate-your-own cupcake bar. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination! For example, make jack-o-lantern cupcakes with orange frosting, black licorice strings cut into 1-inch segments and M&Ms for eyes and noses. Or let the creativity fly with a make-your-own-monster bar with brightly colored icing and kooky candy such as gummy worms and rock candy.

Game time! Divide guests into teams of three to four and arm them with rolls of toilet paper for a mummy-dressing contest. Make sure to have your camera ready to capture the process and the finished results!

For a parting gift, send party-goers home with bags of popcorn tossed with Halloween gummies or candy corn.

FOR THE GROWN-UPS

Spooky tunes are a must for spooky soiree. Setting the soundtrack is as simple as hooking up your smartphone to a bluetooth speaker and tuning the channel to Monster Mash Radio. Don’t have a speaker? Put your phone in a bowl for a DIY solution.

To mix up the decor from the usual orange and black, try an offbeat theme such as a mad scientist’s laboratory with brightly-hued cocktails in beakers and test tubes, or evoke a creepy apothecary with mercury glass skull jars, shot glasses  and metallic pumpkins

The best way to encourage guests to dress up is to tempt them with a costume contest! Stuff cool striped trick-or-treat totes with your favorite candies to hand out to the winners.

For a nightcap, brew a pot of pumpkin-flavored coffee and set out spirits such as spiced rum or Irish cream to mix in.

halloween-3

Skeleton couples = forever love

Day of the Dead decor

Skull cups add a little scare to their sips

 

Décor Party & Event Ideas

Harvest Decor: Traditional or Contemporary?

September 16, 2016

When it comes to decorating your house for fall, there’s a lot more out there than just jack-o-lanterns and corn husks. Whether your style skews more traditional or contemporary, we’ve got plenty of harvest-inspired accessories to dress up all different parts of your home.

FRONT PORCH

Traditional: Adorn your front porch with a hay bale topped with pumpkins and gourds (or even a twig turkey!) for a rustic nod to the harvest season. (Natural Twig Turkey, $8.99)

Contemporary: Set a cluster of ribbon-wrapped straw bundles on your stoop for an elegant twist on harvest time decor. (Wheat grass stack bundle, $12.99)

DOOR

Traditional: You can’t go wrong with a classic wreath. Look for options featuring golden sunflowers, burlap ribbon or glitter-kissed leaves (Pinecone Sunflower and Mums Wreath, $24.99; Teardrop Glitter Maple with Burlap Ribbon, $14.99)

Contemporary: For a more modern vibe, hang a splashy chevron pumpkin emblazoned with your family initial. (Pumpkin Initial Wall Hanger, $7.99)

MANTLE

Traditional: Garlands stuffed with twigs, leaves and acorns are a sweet addition to a fireplace mantle or shelf. Tip: Look for wired garland to easily arrange it among other accessories, such as candlesticks or lanterns. (Acorn Pinecone and Pip Berries Garland, $14.99)

Contemporary: Prop up a colorfully painted wood sign to celebrate the season. (Autumn Wood Sign, $8.99)

TABLE

Traditional: A faux floral bouquet will add a pop of color to your tabletop for your next family meal. (Sunflower, Maple and Berry with Bow Floral Pick, $9.99)

Contemporary: Put a pillar candle in a rich autumnal hue (think cranberry, rusty orange or golden yellow) inside a glass lantern for a modern yet homey centerpiece. (Raw Metal Clear Glass Hanging Jar, $17.99)

harvestchair modpumpkin mantle

 

 

 

Fashion Food Party & Event Ideas Shop

Game Day Style

September 1, 2016

The end of summer always feels bittersweet, but if there’s one thing that gets us psyched for fall, it’s the start of football season! Whether you’re headed to a game at the local high school or hosting a big game-watch at home, you’ll want to suit up in style. Here’s how to get ready for kickoff.

ADD A VEST

Layering on a vest is a fun and easy way to spice up an autumn outfit. Traditional puffer vests are a cool weather staple and never go out of style; for a slimmer silhouette, look for more lightweight quilted styles in textured fabrics such as tweed or houndstooth. For a day that’s crisp rather than cool, military-inspired vests can also add a bit of extra warmth without too much added bulk.

ROCK STRIPES

Wearing a striped tee, tunic or blouse featuring your team colors gives off a sporty vibe without going for the full-on jersey ensemble. Add your favorite pair of jeans and slip on sneakers or ballet flats and you’re good to go!

ACCESSORIZE

If your team colors aren’t hues you’d usually wear, showing team spirit can be a challenge. Rather than spending a lot of money on clothing—jackets, sweatshirts or sweaters—in a color that you don’t love to wear otherwise, focus on accessories. Start with a blank slate of neutral colors—think jeans and a black, white or gray top—and add sunglasses or a scarf in one of your team colors.

TOP IT OFF

Your gameday look isn’t complete without a finishing touch on top! For just a couple bucks, you can buy a foot or two of ribbon in your team’s colors at your local craft or fabric store—and how you use it to tie up your tresses is up to you! Try using a wide ribbon as a headband, weaving thin ribbons into a braid or topping off pigtail braids with sweet bows.