Cozy Survival Guide for the Winter Months

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We’re talking all things warm and cozy as we enter the winter months!

Cozy Surviival Guide for the Winter Months

Step one, get your self a blanket.  Once the weather starts getting colder all I want to do is curl up with a warm blanket and get cozy! We have a basket full of blankets in our family room and I put out several around the house. However, I’m crushing over the striped cashmere throws from Parachute Home!

Cozy Winter Survial Gude

Find yourself a cozy spot in your home. One of my favorite warm and cozy spots is this vintage arm chair in my living room! Yes, my living room. I’m a firm believer that your living room should be used everyday and can be warm and cozy.

Cozy Survival Guide for the Winter Months

The blanket is from my trip to the Highlands in Scotland and has warm hues that brings out the tones in the yellow striped vintage arm chair. The vintage chair belonged to my grandparents and has special meaning to me.

Cozy Survial GuideGet comfortable with your favorite hot drink, book or magazine and curl up! Who wouldn’t want to get warm and cozy in this chair while reading their favorite book and sipping coffee?

I’ve been dying to read Lookway, Lookway,a novel by Wilton Barnhardt, which is a wonderful satire on the South and Charlotte, with characters that could have grown up with my mother.

Put on some mood lighting and get cozy by the fire!

Cozy Winter Survival

Christmas isn’t over yet and now is a good time as any to cozy up on the sofa with your favorite blanket, put on a fire, and take in the lights on the season. Oh and your favorite drink of choice!

Cozy winter Survival Guide 1Cheers to the holiday season and warm and cozy nights!

Cozy winter survival Guide

Being comfortable is a must in my book if you want to be cozy. Sometimes it’s OK to stay in your PJ’s and have “cuddle time” or “sleepy time” with the ones love!

Wishing you a warm and cozy holiday and winter season!

Credits

Styling, Design and Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Striped cashmere throws – Parachute Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration for the Holiday Season: Christmas Tabelscape

This holiday season we are teaming up with wedding and event pros to get you inspired and in the Christmas spirit!

Christmas & Holiday TablescapeToday we are excited to share this Christmas tablescape photo shoot with Classic Party Rentals.

Christmas Decor and Tradition

Every event or party begins with a plan. Here is our Christmas tablescape mood board that inspired our look.

Christmas Tablescape Inspiration

You can find all the details behind the inspiration for the Christmas tablescape in our previous post here.

Christmas Tablescape

There’s no place like home during the holidays and that’s why I choose my own home as the location. I absolutely love my dinning table and chairs from Accents and Beyond in High Point, NC, which always adds warmth and character no matter what season to any tablescape.

Christmas Tablescape

This year I decided to go back to traditional colors for my Christmas décor and the Christmas tablescape continues the tone that I have set through out our home. I wanted to bring the outdoors in and you certainly get that feel.

Christmas Tablescape

I love how the red cherry linen from Classic Party Rentals brings the entire tablescape to life! The chevron table runner gives the look dimension and pop of white along with  the glass gold bead charger and the white and gold dinner plate from Classic Party Rentals.

Christmas Tablescape

Just because I wanted a traditional look doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Christmas and the holiday season is about being together as a family and all about the kids, at least in our family! Bring a little whimsical into your tablescape.

Christmas Tablescape

These fun and festive birds I found at Target add just the right whimsical element to the Christmas tablescape.

Christmas Tablescape

Another party planner tip is to use what you already own to complete the look. While I absolutely love Oh Joy’s Holiday Collection, I have tons of gold ornaments laying around that I put to good use!

Christmas Tablescape

These gold ornaments serve as place settings for my guests, which add a little sparkle and glam! To get the look simply cut out paper and use marker or colored chalk paint and write the name of each guest.

Christmas Tablescape

Make your look more formal by adding napkin holders, such as the berry ones in this tablescape that flow well with the red berry garland.

Christmas Tablescape

Every tablescape needs a centerpiece. I love using floral arrangements, but you can simply use pinecones in a bowl or a white candle in a glass candle holder with red berry garland around it.

Christmas Tablescape

Another decorating tip is to add height and layers, which draw your eye in and make the look more interesting.

Christmas Tablescape

Don’t forget to dress up your chairs! Sashes are just for weddings. Adding this Victorian Gold Satin shash from Classic Party Rentals not only ties the red and gold look together but adds a more formal and special occasion feel.

Christmas Decor & Tablescape

The holidays are the perfect time to bring out your special china and linens. Sometimes what you own doesn’t work with your design or you don’t have enough in your pattern. That’s when you should check into renting your china, linens, and glassware from places like Classic Party Rentals.

Christmas Decor and Tablescape

This look could also serve for a New Year’s Eve party!

For more Christmas and holiday inspiration check out our previous posts for décor, recipes, and crafts here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, and here.

Christmas Decor & Tablescape

Credits

Design, Planning & Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Glass Gold Bead Charger – Classic Party Rentals

Gold and White Magnificence Dinner Plate – Classic Party Rentals

Cromwell Flatware – Classic Party Rentals

Operetta Glassware – Classic Party Rentals

Cherry Red table linen – Classic Party Rentals

Cherry red napkins- Classic Party Rentals

Victorian Gold sash – Classic Party Rentals

Berry Napkins Holders – Classic Party Rentals

Birds – Target

Red berry garland – Target

White beaded cake stand – Crate & Barrel

Red and white paper decorations – Hobby Lobby

White lanterns – Ikea

Ornament place settings – Sarah Sofia Productions

Gold candle holders – Michael’s

Dinning Table and Chairs – Accents and Beyond

Christmas Stockings – Pottery Barn Kids

Hope marque light – Target

Merry Christmas garland – Hobby Lobby

Burlap wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions

 

 

 

 

Inspiration for the Holiday Season: Trimming the Tree and Christmas Décor

Merry & Bright

We are teaming up with wedding and event pros to inspire you this holiday season! If you’re just joining us make sure you check out the other posts in the series: Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party with Elf on the Shelf, holiday dessert bar and sweet desserts, Christmas Tradition and DécorChristmas Tablescape Inspiration and Mama’s Cranberry & Apple Dish, a Christmas tradition in our family!

Today we are sharing the fun tradition of trimming the tree and our Christmas décor this year.

Trimming the Christmas Tree

Last year I was all about burlap and the natural look. This year I went back to my favorite color red and used all our ornaments. I added a basket to make the look interesting and vintage.

Trimming the Tree

This was our second year not traveling and continuing the our family tradition of decorating the Christmas tree during Thanksgiving weekend. Both my girls loved it even more than last year!

Christmas Decor & Traditions

Since I’m highly allergic to trees, we stick with a faux Christmas tree. This one is 7 1/2 feet tall and has built in lights, which is a time saver.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

I love how the color pops against the neutral walls. Even our dog Bailey feels the warmth and coziness that the tree brings to our family room!

Christmas Decor & Traditions

Christmas Decor and TraditionsThis year we added box wood wreaths to our décor. I love how it pulls the room together! A florist can easily cost you $30-$40, but we found ours at Trader Joe’s for $9.99 each and added the red bows.

Christmas Decor and Tradition 2

As my daughter Sofia says “let’s decorate more together”! So naturally, we moved on to the fireplace and hanging the stockings.

Christmas Decor and Tradition

I had wanted to get to update our fireplace with unclaimed wood for a mantle piece, but it’s still on the to do list for our new home. Thus, we improvised again this year with nails to hang our stockings from Pottery Barn Kids.

Christmas Decor and Tardition

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to decorate your home for Christmas. Use what you already own and add to your collection each year. My favorite two new pieces this year are the Hope marquee light from Target and Merry Christmas gold glitter banner from Hobby Lobby.

Christmas Decor and Tradition

Christmas Decor and Tradition

I love using vintage finds like the Santa Claus Advent Calendar from HomeGoods. Be creative with your décor and add vignettes to your build in shelves.

Christmas Decor and Tradition

Christmas Decor and Tradition

I’ve used some of my burlap décor from last year in this years. This burlap wreath was an easy DIY craft that I have used for all seasons by simply switching out the ribbon. Get the details on the DIY wreath here.

Christmas Decor and Tradition

When decorating your home remember to pull your design through out your home. I love how the red pops from the Christmas tree, to the box wood wreaths, to my tablescape!

Christmas Decor and Tradition

 

This last image is from our photo shoot with Classic Party Rentals. Come by next week to get the details on this Christmas and holiday tablescape!

Vendor Credits

Design & Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Vintage Santa Advent Calender – Home Goods

Christmas Stockings – Pottery Barn Kids

Hope marque light – Target

Merry Christmas garland – Hobby Lobby

Burlap wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions

Box wood wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions and Trader Joe’s

White lanterns – Ikea

Santa Claus, elf, snowman, & reindeer – Hobby Lobby

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration for The Holiday Season: Christmas Tablescape

We’re teaming up with wedding and event pros to inspire you this holiday season!
Today, I’m sharing my Christmas tablescape mood board that helped plan the photo shoot with Classic Party Rentals.
This holiday season I went back to the classic look with a little glam and a modern twist. Red, white and gold is what is inspiring me!
Christmas Tablescape
 
Christmas décor allows you to be so creative.  Since I have two children I wanted a festive and whimsical look to this tablescape. There’s something magical about Christmas when you look at it through children’s eyes!
Oh Joy Holiday Collection for Target has some festive décor items like the paper lanterns and ornament placecard holders.
I’m loving Target and Hobby Lobby’s Christmas décor this year and the bargains I’m finding this week! I knew as soon as I stumbled upon these birds that they were going to be perfect for my Christmas tablescape!
Don’t be afraid to mix and match high and low items to get the look. Another party planning tip: Don’t invest in new linens and china. Instead, rent linens, china, and glassware from party rental companies such as Classic Party Rentals.  Also, you might find some great décor items in their showroom that you can rent instead of buying, like paper lanterns.
Here’s a sneak peek of the Christmas tablescape photo shoot we had with Classic Party Rentals.
Christmas Tablescape Inspiration
Make sure you come back next week for all the fun and festive details! For more Christmas and holiday inspiration check out our previous posts for décor, recipes, and crafts here, here, here and here .
Credits
Design and Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions
Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Inspiration for the Holiday Season: Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party

We are teaming up with wedding and event pros to inspire you this holiday season! Last week we had a guest post by Queen’s Sweets dishing up all things sweets, including the trendy dessert bar!

Sweet Desserts Inspiration

You can find sweet dessert inspiration, including one of my favorite party planners, Amy Atlas, here.

Today we are sharing Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party just in time for the first day of Christmas!

Santa is Coming to Town Party!

Once you start a family of your own you realize how precious life moments can be. Holidays and birthday are no longer for you but for you kids. Christmas is no exception!

This is the first year were are home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, which allows us to start new traditions with our family!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party

This year we made chocolate pecan banana bread to welcome Holly, the family Elf on the Shelf, at our Santa’s Claus is Coming to Town Party!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party 3

My girls, especially the older one, is loving cooking, baking, decorating, and the excitement of Santa and Christmas! It was a joy to make the banana bread together, talk about baby Jesus and Santa.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Seeing their expressions and hearing them say “Santa” is coming soon was priceless!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 5

We even picked out some of our party décor together from Hobby Lobby, including the new blue and red plates with “Let it Snow” and Santa saying “Merry Christmas”!

070

We read The Elf on The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition at least three times during our party!

Santa Claus is Comig to Town Party 6

We set up the Advent Calendar to count down the days until Santa’s arrival! 25 days and counting!

Santa is Coming to Town PartyThe girls are even more excited for Christmas Day, especially since we will finally be in our home for the first time! Make Christmas morning just as magical by decorating the kitchen table for breakfast!

For more holiday inspiration make sure you check out our other posts in this series, Décor and Tradition and Christmas Decorating on a Budget.

Come back tomorrow as we share more Christmas décor inspiration and tablescape inspiration for this holiday season!

Vendor Credits

Design & Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Christmas plates, wood sign, tulle, Santa, elf, bells, chevron Christmas tree stand – Hobby Lobby

Red and white chevron table runner & napkins – Target (last year)

Red paper balls – Party City

Vintage Santa Advent Calender – Home Goods

Elf on the Shelf and book – Buy Buy Baby

Christmas Stockings – Pottery Barn Kids

Hope marque light – Target

Merry Christmas garland – Hobby Lobby

Burlap wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions

Box wood wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions and Trader Joe’s

White lanterns – Ikea

Matching PJ’s – Smoked Auctions

Inspiration for the Holiday Season: Décor and Tradition

Christmas Decor and Traditions

I’m teaming up with wedding and event professionals to give you inspiration for the holidays this year! Last week we shared share Sweet Desserts Inspiration by Queen’s Sweets.

Holiday Dessert Bar

For more Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Holiday dessert and dessert table inspiration check out the post here.

Holiday Dessert Bar

Today, I’m sharing a Christmas tradition that we started with our family that adds a little décor to the bedrooms of your home.

Christmas Decor & Tradition

Those of us that have kids have learned that sometimes decorating the Christmas tree with kids doesn’t turn out the way we want it. Why not let your kids decorate their own tree and display it in their bedrooms.

Christmas Decor and TraditionsThis is our second year not traveling for Thanksgiving and making a special night during that week to decorate the kid’s Christmas trees. You can find inexpensive varieties at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Target.

Christmas Decor and Traditions

My girls have a blast and look forward to decorating their own tree every year! Plus, it brings a beautiful and festive feel to their bedrooms, spreading the Christmas spirit throughout the house!

Christmas Decor and Traditions 3

I hope this inspires you to start traditions with your family! For more Christmas décor inspiration check out this post here.

Christmas Decor and Taditions

Come back next week for more décor inspiration for the holiday season from the wedding and event pros!

 

 

 

July 4th Entertaining Made Easy

July 4th Entertaining Made Easy

I grew up where the July 4th parade was a big deal! We’re talking about tons of floats,  kids and adults a like lining the neighborhood streets for miles.  Now that I have children of my own, I want them to have the same experience as I did!

However, juggling the pool, beach, lake etc. and then entertaining for family and friends can be difficult.  That is why I have chosen 4 easy DIY décor and food items that easily fit into anyone’s budget!

Remember the burlap wreath I made from this post? I have used this wreath for Halloween, Christmas, Spring, and now 4th of July.

DIY Burlap Wreath

I simply added this red, burlap & blue star that was on sale from Pottery Barn, and now I have a patriotic wreath for my front door!

Next up is a quick and easy menu.  I love watermelon and mint together, it’s so refreshing during the hot summer.  Some people add feta, however I decided to add a blueberry to top off my skewer.

 

Watermelon, Mint & Blueberry skewers

You can make this the day before or 5-10 min before your event.

Another easy food item is cherries. You can bring these with you to the park, beach, pool etc. and place them in a decorate container or in a martini glass with blue at the bottom for an added effect.  Cheeries

Lastly, don’t forget about the flowers. If you follow my posts, you know I love hydrangeas.  Not only are hydrangeas beautiful, but they’re simple, elegant and not too feminine  or masculine. Hydrangeas come in different colors and are relatively inexpensive. For your July 4th celebration choose white and blue and bunch them together in a clear or white vase. Remember, hydrangeas require a lot of water, but will last a long time as long as they are submerged in water.

4th of Julyl Entertaining Made Easy

Don’t have a patriotic tray on hand? You can go to Michael’s and buy this one that was on sale or buy a plan wooden tray and paint it yourself. I also enjoy using candles and lanterns as part of the décor, which sets the mood as the day turns to night.

For more 4th of July menu and décor inspiration check out my previous post here.

Wishing you a happy Independence Day with your family and friends!

Vendor Credits

Event Design, Style & Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions http://www.sarahsofiaproductions.com

White and blue striped tray – Michaels http://www.michaels.com

DIY Burlap Wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions

Red and Blue Burlap Star – Pottery Barn http://www.potterybarn.com

White star lantern – Ikea USA http://www.ikea.com

Memorial Day Weekend: The Unoffical Welcome to Summer!

Summer

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us.  Time to celebrate those who fought for our freedom with family and friends.

While summer doesn’t offically begin until June 21, Memorial Day has become the unofficial start to the summer.  It’s been 90’s here in Charlotte and as we say bring on summer, patios, cocktails, and fun with family and friends!

I love using traditional patriotic colors, but also mixing it up with bright colors.  This tablescape from an event I hosted is the perfect combination of spring and summer colors.  You can’t go wrong with mixing and matching costal, pastels, and classic colors like blue and white.

Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

Everything is in bloom, so use what you have in your yard as a floral centerpiece. You could even add a flower to each place setting as a special touch.

Memorial Day Weekend

Guests were served shrimp cocktail with avocado and a cheese platter as starters. Then dined family style with grilled salmon, grilled squash, zucchini and bell peppers with roasted rosemary new potatoes.   Add fresh bread from your local bakery with a side of olive oil.

Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

One of my favorite and easy summer time desserts is homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches! Adults and kids a like love this one.  You can find the recipe here.  Another favorite is any berry or peach cobbler. You can find my healthy and light recipe here.

The grilled salmon recipe is a family favorite created by my father, Zuheir Sofia, and modified over the years.

Grilled Salmon Filet – Serves 5-6 People

Ingredients

2 lbs salmon filet

1/2 cup Marzetti’s light slaw dressing

1/3 cup of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dill

1/2 teaspoon dry or fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dry or fresh chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano flakes

Pam Olive Oil Spray for grill

Wash filet in cold water. Pat dry. Check for occasional bones in filet. Mix slaw dressing, Dijon mustard, and spices in a small bowl.  Then spread the mixture over the top of the filet. (the skin goes on the bottom).  Put fish directly on outdoor grill, which has been slightly oiled.  Cook over a medium heat for 8-12 minutes until fish begins to flake.  Do not turn.  Skin should peel off easily when filet is removed from grill.  Divide into individual serving and serve immediately.

Wishing everyone a happy Memorial Day Weekend and start to the summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derby Day Inspiration: Queen’s Cup Steeplechase

Queen's Cup Steeplechase

It’s Kentucky Derby Friday y’all!  In honor of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, I’m sharing some photos from the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase last weekend.

Hats, horseracing, cocktails, and mix and mingling is what it’s all about. Hats off to Beeca Webster and Dee Stephens for their gracious hospitality and tent displays at Queen’s Cup Steeplechase.

If you’re looking for a signature drink and other hot menu items to serve at your Kentucky Derby party check out my previous year’s posts here and here.

Let’s the races begin!

Queen's Cup Steeplechase

Queen's Cup Steeplechase

Queen's Cup Steeplechase

Queen's Cup S+teeplechase  Queen's Cup Steeplechase

Queen's Cup SteeplechaseVendor Credits

Flower arrangement and majority of photography – Sarah Sofia Productions http://www.sarahsofiaproductions.com

Featured photography – DeAnna Stephens and Becca Webster