Party Idea: “And the Award Goes to…”

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s officially award season. Last year for the Oscars I just did a little “Let’s Pretend,” but I think we can take it further this year. Let’s go bigger and better in 2012. Since the Golden Globes are THIS SUNDAY, now is the perfect time to brainstorm how to make the perfect award show party for staying at home with your friends. Below are my ideas. Let me know if you can think of any others!

Invites:

-Invites can be sent via mail or electronically but should look super posh and say something along the lines of “Congratulations! You’ve been nominated to attend my party!”

Dress code:

-Super fancy, of course.

Décor:

-Color themes should be any combination of gold, silver, black and red.

-Assign seats with labels (bonus points for pictures) and include a couple empty seats where your friend “Angelina Jolie” was supposed to be sitting but…um…her kids got sick!

-Have a red carpet (red paper works) along the entry way that your friends have to walk down, where they must stop at the end to be photographed. *You can set up a photo booth or just leave out a disposable camera or polaroid and see what your friends come up with.

– Reserve either your office or dining room to be the “Green Room.” Hang either green fabric or paper along the walls and table. Green rooms are usually where talent hangs out in between acts, so this can be where the gift bags are for them to take home. Since your home is most likely not sponsored by Apple or Neil Lane jewelry, fun little treats work just as well. Candy, small toys and even fake coupons that you make would be cute inside the gift bag.

– Extra Credit: Award shows tend to have treats in the bathrooms for the talent as well. Gum, candy, perfumes and lip glosses are all things you might find, so go the extra route and make a cute little setup in the loo!

Snacks/Drinks:

-Champagne and/or sparkling cider to drink.

-Sparkling or flavored waters in bottles like THIS are a nice touch.

-All snacks should be fancy finger foods since holding a plate over a gown isn’t exactly practical. A few suggestions: Deviled eggs, potato pockets with caviar or strawberries wearing tuxedos!

-If fancy appetizers are not your forte, various herbs thrown on popcorn and served in small popcorn buckets works as well. Just have a dessert option available for the sweet tooth’s.

Activities:

-Since your activity is mostly going to be watching the awards program, print out ballots ahead of time and have guests fill them out before the show begins. Tally the totals, and the winner receives a faux version of the award! Make them give an acceptance speech too! 🙂

I’m excited for Sunday! The food is bought but since there are only three of us, I think pajamas will be my ball gown of choice this time around. The Oscars on the other hand…

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What I Loved About 2011

Before I completely start anew and move forward with new goals and new inspiration for 2012, I will allow myself one final stroll down memory lane to remind myself of all the good of the previous year.

May I present to you, “What I loved about 2011.”

I loved that filmmakers wrote love letters to cinema and art:

I loved that romance and chivalry existed in a world of chaos:

I loved that the people raised their voices:

I loved that we still hadn’t forgotten:

I loved that I walked across Los Angeles with a group of friends and didn’t quit even though I wanted to:

I loved that I met a childhood crush:

I loved that I realized being 30 years old isn’t so bad after all:

And most of all, I loved that I became an aunt!! (note: Sorry, don’t like to post pictures of the innocent so here is a picture of me with my other “nephew” Max and a picture I love of Little Sister the day after my nephew was born!)

Here’s to the New Year!

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Holiday Roundup

I’m off on Friday to spend the holidays with my family and couldn’t be more excited. To celebrate, below are some of my favorite pictures, recipes and videos from this holiday season. See you in the New Year! 🙂

 

Cake Pops recipe

Potato Latkes recipe

Peppermint Marshmallows recipe

Drunk History Christmas

A Very Calvin and Hobbes Christmas

Snow Globe Los Angeles

Have Yourself a Puppy Little Christmas

Photos found via Pinterest.

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How to Change a Diaper

I know what you’re thinking: “Jina, you can barely keep a blog alive, why would anyone ever trust your advice on how to handle infants?” Well, you don’t  have to. I interviewed Big Sister for this one! She, unlike me, used to actually babysit children growing up and now having one of her own, has become an expert in the areas of poop and pee. A natural, you might say. Sadly, I don’t seem to have this knack for knowing exactly what to do. It’s not that I don’t have natural instincts. I have the natural instinct to kiss my nephew’s cheeks non-stop all day long. I mean…they look like GIANT marshmallows and who doesn’t want giant marshmallows all up in their mouths?

Fluffy cheeks aside, it was time for me to finally learn how to change a poopy diaper in the Apocalyptic scenario that I ever be called upon to babysit. So, I sat down with Big Sister, my note-taking Blackberry, a diaper, a clean onesie and a poop-ridden baby to officially learn the proper steps.

  1. Get backup diaper at the ready and lay it down on changing table and/or changing pad and place baby (making sure to support the baby’s head and neck!) on top. Note: Babies have a tendency to “release the kracken” the second they get changed, so it’s always good to have a backup diaper in place.
  2. Undo the baby’s dirty diaper.
  3. Grab both feet by the ankles with one hand and lift the baby’s bum up.
  4. Slide diaper out and fold over once to dispose of fecal views/smells. Set aside dirty diaper or throw away immediately.
  5. Continue to hold feet up while you wipe the baby’s bottom with wet wipes. For girls, make sure to wipe front to back to avoid infection (doesn’t really matter for boys, just get that shit out of there). Check all surfaces, making sure to look out for what Big Sister calls “Up-the-Back-Surprises.”
  6. Powder or cream any rashes.
  7. If replacement diaper is not underneath, lift baby’s butt back up by the feet and slide under. Adjust and attach the new diaper and put clothes back on baby.
  8. KISS THOSE CHEEKS!

See, not so hard after all!!! Just be gentle and always support the head and neck. And always kiss the cheeks all day long. Unless you’re sick. Then GET THE EFF AWAY FROM THAT CHILD!

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Dreaming of a White Christmas

After growing up in the 8TH COLDEST CITY IN AMERICA!!!!, you could say I got used to cold ass winters and lots of white stuff on the ground during the holidays.

Needless to say, the adjustment to a California Christmas has been somewhat difficult. Every year, I long for the chill and fun of the season. Now, I’m not saying I miss scraping off my car windows every morning, shoveling driveways, or letting my car run for 30 minutes to warm up before departure, but I do love the beauty the snow brings.

Last year, we were lucky enough to actually get snow (sort of) near Los Angeles in Burbank and we were so shocked, we made sure to document the moment to have proof.

But this year, it’s just been rain, wind and chilly nights. Peppermint mochas from Starbucks and Josh Groban’s voice can only do so much to help you prep for the holidays, so how do you make snow happen in Los Angeles?

One way is to let yourself get dowsed with foam at the Grove’s farmer’s market every night at both 7 and 8pm. It’s a bit messy and doesn’t provide much chill but props for the giant tree, fountain dancing to Christmas tunes and carolers wandering the grounds.

Another way is to make your own snow, like Big Sister and I did yesterday.

You take a can like this:

Dump out the contents, which includes a spoon, a ribbon, some weird plastic eyes and something that closely resembles a bag of crack cocaine.

Dump the bag of crack cocaine into the can and fill halfway up with water and stir. Look! Snow!

Repeat this two times and you will have three cans of snow. Then, go ahead and use the ribbon scarf and scary eyeballs to make your snowman!!

Ok, in conclusion, it’s a good thing I’m going to Salt Lake City for the holidays so I can see real snow because that is just sad. Here is our equally sad gingerbread house which I will title “That One Window Is Totally Melting.”

P.S. I started my latest holiday tween read last night and so far, so good! What is it called? “Let It Snow,” of course!

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How to Spend Christmas Home Alone

The holidays are normally a time of year when we all take time out of our busy schedules to jump on a plane, arms filled with gifts and goodies, ready to drink and feast with our families. However, as cheery and oozing of spirit as we may be, the economy is rough. Yes, we (well, most of us) would all love to fly home and spend hundreds of dollars on crazy presents for our loved ones, but what about those of us who simply can’t make it happen this year? Whether it be because of work schedules or simply not having enough money, how can you stay home alone…in your apartment…all by yourself…and still enjoy Christmas?! Here’s how:

8am:

Roll out of bed in your pajamas and socks and head to the kitchen. **Important: DO NOT CHANGE OUT OF YOUR PAJAMAS FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE DAY!

Make yourself this simple Mini Apple Cake for breakfast as well as this Peppermint Chocolate Coffee.

9:30/10am:

Present time!!! Head to the tree and open the present you bought yourself and wrapped the night before (If you want to actually be surprised, get yourself three small presents and put them all in identical boxes, mix up the three boxes and wrap them. You won’t know which present is in each box, so you’ll at least be a little surprised!!).

10:30am:

Light your favorite holiday scented candle and take your coffee to the living room. After you throw a log on that fireplace/turn on gas fireplace/umm…space heater, pop in your favorite holiday movie and enjoy.

12:30pm:

Time for lunch! Bust out the holiday playlist on your iPod (or if you’re like me, CD’s!!!) and create this Cheese Soufflé. Remember, the holidays are about overeating, so don’t feel guilty about such a rich and yummy lunch. Besides, no one will be around to judge you anyway! Holla!

2pm:

Man, you are full. Time for some air and activity. Growing up, we always liked to get out of the house on Christmas Day with our cousins and that usually included either sledding or ice skating. If neither activity is available to you, even a nice walk around the block in the cold air will refresh you and make you feel alive.

3pm/4pm:

Depending on your mood, now is the time for some sort of brain stimulation. Since board games don’t really work with one person, either reading a holiday themed novel or decorating a gingerbread house are suggested activities to insert here. Or maybe, winter-themed nails?

6pm:

Christmas Feast time. Just because the table is being set for one, doesn’t mean the meal should be any less fancy. Here are some fantastic recipes you can create for just you:

Cornish Hen with Sweet Potatoes – Cut this in half since it’s for two

Roasted Red Onion with Butter, Honey and Balsamic – obviously, you only need one of these

Chocolate Cake for One

Glass of your favorite wine

8pm/9pm:

After that delicious meal, you deserve to relax with another movie. If you want to continue wearing pajamas, pop in your #2 favorite holiday movie and enjoy. If you need more air, most movie theatres are open on Christmas and some of the best movies of the year come out on this day, so dress in something sparkly and take your pick. OR, take some cocoa in a thermos and walk around your neighborhood to see the neighbors’ Christmas lights.

11pm:

What a magical day. The only way it could end any better is with a Christmas-themed bath. Pop on that playlist one more time, light that holiday candle and throw in your peppermint bath salts. Oh wait, you thought it couldn’t get any better? It just did. You will also be drinking an Eggnog Martini.

Most glorious day ever? Possibly. Now, even if you are still not convinced a Christmas alone could be a wonderful thing, then my advice to you is this: Don’t be alone. Find a local shelter and/or soup kitchen and volunteer for the day. You could make someone else’s Christmas just as merry as yours.

Happy Holidays!

Photo by Kirsty Mitchell

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Lights! Camera! Christmas!

Well, it is officially that time of year again and I must admit I found myself “in the spirit” a little sooner than usual this time around. I don’t know what it was about this year but I’ve been ready to get festive for a while now. So as tomorrow kicks off holiday party month, it’s time to put that extra turkey weight to good use and get as jolly as a big ol’, fatty bobatty St. Nick.

One of the main focuses of my Christmas spirit every year is holiday movies. Christmas is just not the same without making the rounds on some of my favorite classics, as well as the newbies that are near classic status. I can’t imagine celebrating a year with the family without the company of Clark W. Griswold, Kevin Mcallister, Buddy the Elf, George Bailey, that weird lacy leg lamp and Cindy Lou Hoo, to name a few (see what I did there?). But this year, I got to thinking, “How can I dive deeper than simply watching these classics?” I know! By LIVING them. I love Christmas movies so much, I want to just jump into their world and pretend I’m there. Wanna join? If you are awesome and you answered yes, all you have to do is follow these guidelines to: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS INSIDE OF A CHRISTMAS MOVIE.  

I had issues coming up with a title…

What to do: Tell someone the truth about your feelings.

Inspiration: “Love Actually” – According to this movie, at Christmas, you tell the truth. So get out your poster board and markers and confess your love.

What to do: Spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear!

Inspiration: “Elf” – follow the ways of Buddy the Elf – “I’m singing! I’m in a store and I’m singing!”

What to do: Buy the saddest looking tree on the lot.

Inspiration: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – Charlie fought against the over-commercialization of Christmas and bought the smallest (and symbolically, the only “real”) tree on the lot. Small trees need homes too, guys.

What to do: Hang out with the misfits.

Inspiration: “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” – This year, think about those out there who don’t have a lot of friends or family and give them your time. You will find, it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give.

What to do: Ring a bell so an angel can get their wings.

Inspiration: “It’s a Wonderful Life” – With the help of Clarence, George Bailey realized he really was important to those who loved him and therefore, Clarence got his wings. Even if we’re not really giving out wings, maybe the bell we ring can stand as a reminder that it really is “A wonderful life.”

What to do: Sit on Santa’s lap at Macy’s and ask him if he’s the real Santa and/or mail a letter to Santa.

Inspiration: “Miracle on 34th Street” – This movie is all about faith and belief in the impossible, so take a moment to set aside reality and feel like a kid again.

What to do: Eat lots of ice cream and watch an old gangster film alone.

Inspiration: “Home Alone” – Not everyone gets to have a traditional Christmas with the family. So if you find yourself home alone in the next month, do as Kevin Mcallister would do. Extra credit for putting boobie traps throughout your house.

What to do: Overdose on Christmas Lights.

Inspiration: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” – There’s nothing wrong with a little fierce competition, so make your neighbors jealous. Just watch your energy bill…

What to do: Stick your tongue to a frozen pole.

Inspiration: “A Christmas Story” – I’m not saying you’ll enjoy it, but you’ll have a good story to tell. Perhaps have hot water nearby when you try.

What to do: Pack a thermos of cocoa and take a train ride.

Inspiration: “The Polar Express” – You most likely won’t get to the North Pole to meet Santa but it will still be fun and Christmas-y.

There you have it. I know I left off a few classics but this is a good start! Feel free to include other activities such as building a snowman with two eyes made out of coal, eating some Roast Beast or even trying to follow some ghosts around your past and future. No matter what, I hope you enjoy the spirit of the season as much as I know I will.

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