Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wedding Wednesdays: Coldfeet Fiance

Shelby Swink recently shared her devastating story about being left at the altar with the world this past Monday. Her wedding planned for November 1st would crumble right before her eyes as her fiancé broke of their engagement just five days before the wedding. In shock, Shelby began to replay their relationship and wonder where things went wrong.

The two met in the beginning of 2011, they were both athletes at the same university in Tennessee. They started dating soon after that and hit it off very quickly. However, their relationship was put to the test in 2012 when Shelby's fiancé moved back to his hometown in Florida. Shelby had to stay in Tennessee to finish school and after a year of long distance, he surprised Shelby and decided to move to Memphis to be with her.

By December 2013 they moved in together and were doing great. So great, that they got engaged in March and started planning their wedding for November. Shelby says, "I poured my heart and soul into the wedding plans to try and make it the best day it could be. It was going to be a celebration of our love and commitment to each other, so I wanted it to be absolutely amazing."

Unfortunately, Shelby could not hide from this heartbreaking situation. She had to call up guests, cancel services and vendors, and figure out her living arrangements. Luckily, she had friends and family surrounding her the whole time that showed her endless love and support.

As they day of the wedding approached, no one really knew what to do or what to expect. When Shelby had spoken to her photographer a few days earlier, she had suggested they do a "trash the dress" shoot to mark the occasion, not as something tragic, but as something Shelby could own and feel good about. At first, it didn't seem like the best idea as Shelby's parents paid for the dress and alterations, but with their 100% OK, Shelby took everyone up on this offer. She says, "I was not going to let my ex-fiancé's mistake of letting me go take away my happiness."

Shelby's parents and bridesmaids also participated in the "trash the dress" shoot. It is a day they will all remember for a very long time.

Trash The Dress (Elizabeth Hoard Photography) (128 of 319)

trash the dresses before and after

Trash The Dress (Elizabeth Hoard Photography)

Trash The Dress (Elizabeth Hoard Photography)

Trash The Dress (Elizabeth Hoard Photography)

I think this is such an inspiring story. Shelby could've bashed her ex-fiancé or crumbled at the fact that she will have to start over, what I'm sure seems like her whole life, without this man, but she didn't. She took a symbolic yet tragic piece of the big day, her wedding dress, and made it into something even more symbolic. Shelby says, "I decided that I will not let this tragedy and heartbreak consume me, and bring me down in life."

Trash the Dress, Part Two (110 of 124)

Her dress is now proudly displayed at The Barefoot Bride in Memphis. Through the beginning of 2015, a portion of each wedding dress purchased while Shelby's dress is displayed will go to a Memphis non-profit that helps other women learn how to find their inner strength. We really couldn't be prouder and have more respect for Shelby and the way she devoured the details of such adversity. Thanks for sharing this with the world and helping all women find their inner strength!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What To Get Your Marine

My cousin is graduating from the Marines in just a few short weeks. We will be traveling to South Carolina to see him complete his last days at boot camp and receive his honor of serving the country. Many of you may have had or will have similar experiences. Being that this is unlike any high school or college graduation, you may have struggled with or are thinking about what to get your loved one that is graduating. Here are some ideas and inspiration as the big day approaches.

This Compass Necklace, so they never get lost on their travels

Marine Compass Necklace, Compass Jewelry, Compass Art Pendant, Compass Charm [A1286]

This Dog Tag Bottle-Opener Keychain, so they always remember hard-work pays off

Marine Corps bottle opener  US Marines  by CharmletteDesigns, $16.00

This Watch, so they always come home to you on time

Gifts For Your New Marine at Boot Camp Graduation, since many can't or don't carry their phones a watch becomes a great gift.


This Under Armour Sweatshirt, so they are always warm and reminded of your hugs

Under Armour Marines Real Tree Hooded Sweat

This MTech Pocket Knife, so they are always prepared for anything

Gifts to buy your new Marine when he graduates from Boot Camp. Every Marine is kinda knife crazy, it's a guy thing. They love combat knives, this one has the USMC seal on it and would make a nice graduation gift to start his collection.

So don't be afraid to devour the details for your Marine, they'll appreciate your presence more than any of these gifts!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Margaret Elizabeth

One of the most thoughtful Christmas gifts I have received came this year from my favorite Santa, my boyfriend Chris. He got me the most fabulous ring - a very fashionable, very 'me' ring. The story behind getting this ring in particular, was the thoughtful part. Chris researched some websites and found Margaret Elizabeth; a jewelry line designed by Meg Shackleton, a Boston College alum. He though this gift would be great because 1. I would love it, 2. She's from Boston, and 3. I could read up on Meg and then blog about her business.

Just the sweetest, right? So here I am, blogging about Margaret Elizabeth, and I couldn't be happier to share her story! Meg is the sole designer behind Margaret Elizabeth. She founded Margaret Elizabeth while a student at Boston College, hosting her very first trunk show in her dorm room. She went on to work at Google where she spent four years in online advertising; an incredible opportunity to get a strong business background. In 2011, she left the corporate world to pursue Margaret Elizabeth full time and hasn't looked back. Now with her own store front, she is growing and gaining more and more admirers everyday, including myself.

I received the Cushion Cut Aqua Chalcedony Ring, a semi precious stone in a bezel setting, made of 24k gold vermeil. His favorite color with my favorite cut, couldn't be more perfect. I am definitely a lucky girl! Check out Margaret Elizabeth to see all of Meg's designs and also read her blog that features everything from jewelry production to her favorite cocktails. We love the way Meg devours the design details and wish her much success with Margaret Elizabeth!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wedding Wednesdays: When Weddings Get Casual

Here at Devour the Details, we can't get enough of the hottest wedding trends. This installment of Wedding Wednesdays features some tux-less groomsmen and the more casual look of today's wedding party.

We adore a good suit and tie but this new polished yet laid-back look is really making us swoon. We love this idea for a casual backyard affair, a rustic country celebration or a cool urban soiree at an historic industrial space. A word of advice though, the more casual you go, the more you need to dress it up with very put-together details.

casual groom and groomsmen look | Gregory Woodman Photography |
Cool black denim and crisp white shirts
Photo: Gregory Woodman Photography

Even though it's casual, sneakers are definitely out (unless you're thinking of doing the adorable high-top Converse idea, then we say go for it!). Go for a nice pair of oxfords or brogues instead and make sure shirt tails are tucked in, keeping that polished look. Add a tie, vest or blazer to pull it all together.

 Mismatched Groomsmen | Jen Fariello Photography |
Classic trousers, vests and dress shirts with a mismatched twist
Photo: Jen Fariello Photography

Corduroys are a fantastic way to switch up your wedding style. We love the various shades used amongst these groomsmen. It creates a fun visual at the alter.

Colorful corduroys and tweed jackets
Photo: Redfield Photography

Tweed and denim is a perfect combination. Even the ring bearer will pull it off flawlessly!

Classic denim and tweed vests
Photo: Connection Photography

Put those tuxes away and devour the details of this casual wedding style!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Five Fabulous Holiday Side Dishes

For me, the holiday meals always revolve around the side dishes. Don't get me wrong, I love ham, pork tenderloin, or prime rib (whatever my mom decides to make for the main course), but I think I love the endless amounts of veggies, starches, and rolls even more! You can really out do your main course by getting as creative as possible with your sides this holiday season. Here are some of my favorites that I came across when planning festive dinners this year.

1. Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits


Kick dinner up a notch with these tasty treats! Get the recipe here.

2. Curried Chickpeas


A great dish served up on a bed of rice, chickpeas have become a new favorite of mine and will really add to your main course! Get the recipe here.

3. Antipasto Kebobs

Antipasto kababs

A great twist on an Italian classic. Easy to eat and very satisfying! Get the recipe here.

4. Oven-roasted Bacon, Garlic, and Parmesan Potatoes

My Favorite Things: Oven Roasted Bacon, Garlic and Parmesan Potatoes from My Adventures in the Country

This side is a true crowd-pleaser. It has a little something for everyone and pairs well with a meaty main course. Get the recipe here.

5. Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts

This is the way to prepare brussel sprouts to please everyone! Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts are full of flavor and have just the right amount of crunch! This is a great vegetable side to serve to the gang at your next get-together.

These trendy veggies are the new big thing. This crispy Asian creation has a ton of flavor and are sweet, spicy and savory all in one. Get the recipe here.

Devour the details of the side dishes at your holiday parties with these awesome recipes and make it a happy holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Get Creative with Your Gift Cards

Gift cards are really the go-to gifts during the holiday season. Some people feel like when they give a gift card that it lacks thoughtfulness but I beg to differ. Giving someone a chunk of change to one of their favorite stores is all right by me! Especially since they can use it towards all the post-holiday sales. But I do think it's important to get creative with your gift card holders; showing an extra effort with this new-norm of a present. Check out these unique ways to give a gift card this holiday season!

1. In a cell phone case, two presents in one!

iPhone Case with Storage from Eyn Products

2. Hang it as an ornament!

Gift Card Wrapper                    Instead of just putting your gift in a greeting card, add a special personalized touch by making one of these unique gift-card holders yourself

3. Have it pop-up as a surprise!

Kathleenh-inside christmas gift card holder

4. Tell what the gift is with these adorable paper coffee cups! Starbucks or Dunks?

Coffee cup gift card holder

5. Deck the halls with these mini paper stockings!

Stocking Gift Card Holders

6. Show-off the gift in a clever way!

A tutorial for a workbench gift card holder - the drawer actually opens and you can include a Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. gift card!

7. An awesome display for an iTunes gift card and could the candy headphones be any cuter?

we do these almost every year for our kids' teachers as a fun and unique gift.

8. Turn it into a snow-globe!

If you really went minimal in terms of thoughtfulness, disguise your disregard with a distracting gift card globe. | 38 DIY Gifts People Actually Want

Take your gift cards to the next level and devour the details of a present that will make all of your 'special someones' excited to open them!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Top 5 Edible Holiday Gifts

I know sometimes during the holidays you may feel obligated to bring food and a gift to a party or a family member or friend's house. Why not combine the two? I've found some easy to make and inexpensive treats that will please anyone this holiday season. Check out my top 5 edible holiday gifts!

1. Bacon Peanut Caramel Popcorn

How To Make Bacon-Peanut Caramel Corn

What a delicious combination! Anyone would love to get their hands on some of this while watching their favorite Christmas movie. Here's how to make it:

Makes 16 cups, enough to fill 4 34-oz clip jars pictured above.

½ cup popping corn kernels (or use 16 cups pre-popped popcorn)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lb sliced bacon
1 ¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Large (at least 4 quart) sauce pot with lid (if using pre-popped corn, you won’t need this)
Large (at least 4 quart) heatproof mixing bowl
Large skillet
2 large baking sheets
Parchment paper or wax paper

1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 300°F.
2. To make popcorn: In a large sauce pot, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-low heat, then add popping corn kernels. Cover the pot, and shake to coat the kernels with oil. In about a minute, kernels will start to pop. Shake the pot, still over medium-low heat, occasionally. When the popping sound has slowed to less than 1 pop every 10 seconds, turn the heat off and uncover the pot. Pour popped corn out into the large, heatproof mixing bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook half the bacon until the fat has rendered out and the meat is crispy. Remove cooked bacon from skillet and allow to cool on a plate or cutting board, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the rest of the bacon to the skillet, and repeat. Set aside the cooked bacon, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.
4. With the skillet still over medium heat, add the maple syrup, peanuts, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and kosher salt, stirring to combine. Heat the mixture for about a minute, until it starts to bubble, then remove from heat and set aside.
5. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, cut it into large strips (about 1 inch long and ¼ inch wide). Add bacon to the popcorn in the large mixing bowl, then pour the maple syrup mixture on top. Mix with a heatproof spoon or spatula, until all the popcorn is evenly coated with the maple syrup mixture.
6. Spread the popcorn out over the two baking sheets, and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Popcorn may feel slightly soggy but will crisp as it cools.

Let the popcorn cool completely on the baking sheets (if you put it in the airtight containers to early, it’ll be soggy). Once it’s cool, divide into gift jars and cover. Popcorn will keep for five to seven days in an airtight container at room temperature.

2. Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies yum

I love how these are displayed in this cute window-box package. You can really show of your creativity with these! Here's how to make them:

Serves: 4 boxes of 24 cookies (6 of each glaze)
Total Time: 2 hr 45 min
Prep Time: 1 hr 45 min
Oven Temp: 325

4 stick(s) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoon(s) vanilla
5 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon(s) salt

Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup
1 tablespoon(s) lemon zest

Almond Glaze
1 1/2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoon(s) milk
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon(s) almond extract
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped toasted almonds

Blackberry Glaze
1 cup(s) frozen blackberries, thawed
1 1/2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup

White Chocolate-Pistachio Glaze
8 ounce(s) white chocolate
4 teaspoon(s) vegetable shortening
4 teaspoon(s) pistachio paste
1/8 teaspoon(s) fine sea salt
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped pistachios

1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter until smooth, about 8 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer to low, add flour and salt, and beat until combined.
2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat each into a square. Roll out each square between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, about 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove and unwrap 1 dough square. Using a 1-inch square cutter, cut out 24 cookies. Transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking pans, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake until light golden and firm around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough squares.

Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and corn syrup. Dip cookies as directed, and sprinkle with lemon zest.
Almond Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, milk, corn syrup, and almond extract. Dip cookies as directed, and sprinkle with finely chopped toasted almonds.
Blackberry Glaze: Press thawed blackberries through a fine-mesh sieve to extract juices. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons blackberry juice, confectioners' sugar, and corn syrup. Dip cookies as directed.
White Chocolate-Pistachio Glaze: In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt white chocolate and vegetable shortening. Remove bowl from heat and stir in pistachio paste and fine sea salt. Allow mixture to rest for 1 minute. Dip cookies as directed, and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios.

Dip cookies in glaze on the diagonal, then gently swipe bottom edge to remove excess. If specified, sprinkle with toppings. Set cookies on wire rack placed atop a sheet of waxed paper. Allow glaze to completely harden overnight.

To package, remove dividers from four boxes and line the bottom of each box with parchment. Replace dividers. Arrange 24 cookies (6 of each glaze) in each box, as shown.

3. Eggnog Mini Loaves

Recipe for eggnog mini loaves. Moist loaves filled with just enough eggnog flavor and studded with cinnamon chips. Perfect for gift giving.

Eggnog is a holiday favorite! Incorporating it into a loaf of bread takes this festive drink to another level. Here's how to make them:

Yield: 4 mini loaves

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup eggnog
½ cup cinnamon chips
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using non-stick cooking spray or butter, grease 4 3x5 inch mini loaf pans and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat until combined. Next, add in the vegetable oil and eggnog and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. 4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the cinnamon chips.
5. Divide the batter among the four prepared loaf pans. Use a spatula to spread evenly in each pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaves comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaves from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

4. Roasted Cinnamon Almonds

This is my favorite smell around the holidays...can't wait to make my house smell this way...super easy!

What an absolute treat and so easy to make. I could eat these for hours! Here's how to make a batch:

1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
4 cups whole almonds
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a 10×15-inch jellyroll pan.
2. Lightly beat the egg white. Add water and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir until well coated.
3. Mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat; spread evenly on the prepared pan.
4. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden.
5. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

5. Macaroons

Printable Christmas Labels for Your Edible Gifts

These are not easy to make by any means! Marcarons are one of the most finicky and delicate desserts out there. I highly recommend heading to a French bakery for this one. However, you can add your own personal touches by creating a unique holiday label. You can turn the presentation into a customized present. You can even make the label match the macarons!

I hope this post has inspired you to devour the details of any edible holiday gift this season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wedding Wednesdays: 5 Things No One Tells You About Your Wedding Style

Please welcome our new feature, Wedding Wednesdays! I know I post a lot about weddings so I figured that for now I will try to limit it to one day a week. That being said, I hope you soon-to-be brides out there keep reading my blog the rest of the week! Anyways, let's get to it. Here are 5 things no one will outright tell you when you're determining your wedding style.

1. Your wedding theme will soon consume your life
You will start to see your color scheme and new ideas that you'll want to incorporate everywhere you look. You could be jogging by a public garden or buying groceries and gain inspiration from the perfect blossoms or ripe fruit. You'll be doing something totally mundane like laundry and the detergent will remind you of the color of your bridesmaids dresses. Don't worry, it will all come together. Create an inspiration board to manage this part of your wedding style.

2. Your finance has an opinion
Contrary to popular belief, soon-to-be hubbies may want their style to shine through a little too on the big day. This is a good thing. It will help the both of you learn more about one another, what you've always dreamt your wedding day would look like, what details matter, and then incorporating that for all to see. It will make the complete look even more memorable.

3. Pairing your colors with real details is harder than it looks
You've got your inspiration and you're ready to put it all together but you're not exactly sure how. Lucky for you, there are professional florists, planners and stylists that are all clutch in helping you pull together the elements and making it look even more personalized than you may have if you did it solo. In other words, as soon as you find the right people who really understand your vision and ideas, you'll feel much less stressed about the whole situation!

4. You wedding style doesn't have to define you
The way the theme of the wedding plays out has many factors: location, venue, number of guests, budget, etc. You may take recommendations from your wedding planner, florist, and photographer. The style may get away from you a little with the impact of all of these things but that's okay! Your wedding day is not a representation of the rest of your lives – it's a very special day with all your friends and family to celebrate and kick off the beginning of married life. So don't stress!

5. Don't compare to other weddings
Every wedding is unique. Even the smallest details can make a huge difference in the overall style of a wedding. Don't start comparing your ideas and inspirations to others. Weddings should reflect the couple, it should represent the two of you becoming united. Don't forget that when planning your wedding style!

These are just some thoughts I had about wedding style but when it comes to actually getting advice, speak to someone you know who has already gotten married or even your wedding planner. They can give you tips from their own experiences that will help you devour the details! Most importantly, just don't lose sight of what the big day truly represents: love!

Some Enchanted Evening - An Indigo, Blush, and Gold wedding inspiration board with starry details
Chevron wedding inspiration board: hot pink, turquoise, gold via Weddings Illustrated

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Giving Garden

The Liberty Tree Mall welcomes the 4th holiday season of the Giving Garden! Each year, the mall sections off an area where they place six trees, each dedicated to support one of six local charitable organizations. Each of the trees holds ornaments showing wishes specific to each charity. The charities/organizations participating this year are: Haven from Hunger, Operation Troop Support, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Hope on Wheels (Hyundai Village of Danvers) and Children’s Hospital.

This is where the giving part comes in. Liberty Tree Mall shoppers are able to purchase an item listed on any of the ornaments hanging from any of the trees. Participating in this garden of giving is a wonderful opportunity to bring a smile to the face of someone in need this holiday season. Guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped item to the Mall Offices (across from Carter’s, near AMC Theatres) no later than Friday, December 19th to ensure a delivery before Christmas. Mall Office Hours are M-F 9:00AM - 5:00PM. Gifts can also be brought directly to the participating organizations.

The Giving Garden will be on display through Monday, December 29th but there are only a few more days left to actually participate. Devour the details this holiday season by giving back with the help of the Giving Garden!

The Giving Garden

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kiss 108's Jingle Ball 2014

Before you say anything, my sister and I accompanied our younger cousins to the show. We definitely felt like part of the "older crowd" being of legal drinking age and closer in age to some of the moms at the show than the kids haha. Jingle Ball played a vital role in mine and my sister's teenage years. It was probably one of the first shows we went to without parent supervision. But this show was completely different than any one we went to as kids.

As an adult, I officially get why parents tell you not to listen to your music so loud - my ears are still ringing! Don't get me wrong, I'm an avid concert goer, but I've never heard teenie-boppers scream as exhaustingly loud as they did last night. Kiss 108 had a great setup this year with their awesome revolving stage. It really helped to keep the show moving right along. Each artist kept it short and sweet with 3 or 4 songs each until the last couple of acts.

The lineup consisted of artists that typically get a lot of airtime on Kiss 108. In order (I think), the show kicked off with Charli XCX, then OneRepublic, Rixton, Kiesza, Jessie J, Shawn Mendes, MAGIC!, Calvin Harris, Meghan Trainor, Lil Jon, Iggy Azalea, and last but not least, 5 Seconds of Summer. They also had special guest Nick Jonas, who sang a snippet of his new song 'Jealous' and of course 'Sweet Caroline'. Morning show hosts, Billy and Lisa were briefly on stage but Matty did most of the talking. Not a lot of crowd interaction with the morning show hosts; the kids just don't seem to appreciate them as much as we did when we were their age.

Here's my opinion of the night. The sponsors for the show were a little weird. Framingham State University snap bracelets and free Orange Leaf samples, so random together. We had great seats, loge 1 row 11. Stage was awesome; special effects, on-screen videos, lights, were all on point. And the music sounded great for the most part.

Charli XCX came on without even being announced or opening remarks from the Kiss 108 team. She's got some great enthusiasm but her on-stage presence could be a little more polished. It seems like she doesn't have a stage coach. She would walk back and forth, dropping it low, and using a lot of gun hand-gestures. I still enjoyed her performance though.

OneRepublic was extremely entertaining. I think every single person in the venue was singing to all of their songs. Their music reaches a greater audience than most of the other performers there and I think that is one of the most important skills to being an artist. They had a great presence and will probably be the most memorable as the lead singer jumped off stage and ran up to finish his song in the loge across from us!

The most adorable group on stage, Rixton, has a lead singer that knows how to 'woo' the ladies. They came out so confident and ended pretty cockily, it was hard not to watch. They probably knew that most people there didn't know their songs so they just had as much fun with their performance as possible. I would definitely be interested in seeing them again.

Kiesza, a Berkley alum, gave a crazy performance. She was very alien-esque but her song-and-dance routine was pretty impressive. Girl had some pipes! Her dancers were in some jumpers that were not flattering at all. I hope they change up their outfits for their next performance.

Jessie J stole my heart. She was unreal. Do I think she's changed her image since her first single went big? Yes, but I'm pleased with the outcome. Her 'bad bitch' attitude kind of really worked for her, especially with the mesh 'Boston' jersey dress and backwards hat she was wearing. She and I seem like we could be really good friends. I would definitely go to one of her own shows someday.

Sorry Shawn Mendes but my cousins wanted t-shirts so we missed your performance. I've only heard good things about you though so I'm sure your Vine famous-ness will continue. Plus your pick-up line backstage interview was adorable.

I saw MAGIC! already this year at MixFest so their performance was repetitive to me. However, their lead singer has a magical voice and I liked how appreciative they were to be there.

Then came the rave. Calvin Harris pretty much crushed this portion of the show. Confetti, streamers, lights, fog, the whole shebang went down when he was on stage. Everyone seemed to know all of his songs as well. It was a crowd-pleasing performance but to me, it just didn't fit my idea of what Jingle Ball should be.

Meghan Trainor, the 'home-town' girl, had a mic malfunction. Her mic was off for the first verse of the song she came out to, "Dear Future Husband". I was bummed because it is one of my favorites. She shook it off and continued performing but I was expecting a little more out of her. She seems to be doing really well but overall I felt her performance was a little boring and not everyone was all about that bass. I hope I can see her again at some point and have a better experience.

The award for the most random performer has to go to Lil Jon. He definitely knew it was kind of a joke for him to be there - not his typical audience at all. But I'll give it to him, he turned around the fact that his presence might be a little awkward and went out there and absolutely murdered it. He even taught everyone which side was the windows and which side was the walls; a very important difference.

Iggy, my girl, I thought you were good. Your hype man was a bit much though. At times, I could not hear your voice because he was yelling so loudly over you. I hope I can get to your show when you head back to Boston. Also, loved when Charli XCX got to come back out and perform 'Fancy' with you. It was a crowd favorite.

5 Seconds of Summer, you're adorable. I was seriously reminded of friends from high school who started a band while watching their performance. They're the cutest little things I've ever seen and I now understand why their edgy appearance makes the girls swoon. Their stage presence was pretty equal, all sharing the spotlight and taking turns singing and talking. It was fun seeing my cousins rock out while they were on. I loved it.

So there you have it! I hope my opinion of the show has given you some inspiration to devour the details, whether at large-scale-events like this or at your very own Christmas Party. Check out more about the show at!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nine Fine Ways to Incorporate Pine

Pine needles and pinecones are excellent to work with if you're on a budget for your holiday party. These natural beauties can be found in some backyards but are also extremely inexpensive at craft stores. You can make them the center of attention or have them hang subtly in the background. So if you're hosting a holiday party this winter, we've got some awesome ways to incorporate pines!

1. Simple pinecones as placecard holders

winter wedding name cards: could add ski run names instead of table numbers

2. Line a candleholder with pine needles for a creative glow

Evergreen Christmas candle holders

3. Hang some pinecones for added natural beauty

“Most people would put them in a bowl or on the tree, but I chose to isolate them as special, beautiful objects,” says Brinson of Kasler’s pinecones, hanging alongside other keepsakes on a branch.

4. Incorporate pine needles right into your favors

Burlap, bakers twine, fresh greens, and little chalkboard decals for wrapping details

5. Add some string lights and pinecones to a vase for another unique glow

I could make this! It would only take a few minutes to gather up small branches and pine cones and put them in a vase

6. Use left over pine tree trimmings to add to your plate settings with these rolled napkins

Simple ideas for leftover tree trimmings.

7. Think outside of the box and add a pop of color with these painted pinecones

blue pinecones

8. Pinecones and needles make a perfect addition to any chair cover

Pine cone chair ribbons for a winter wedding

9. Use pines as part of your table runner décor, let them be the center of attention!

Pretty Christmas Table... Love the idea with the pine cone name tag holders.

Hope these can give you a little inspiration to devour the details and create some holiday cheer!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wedding Crashers, Maroon 5 Style!

Yes we all know Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson brought attention to this trend in their infamous movie, Wedding Crashers but I think Maroon 5 just took it to a whole new level! During a recent weekend wedding in Los Angeles, Maroon 5 surprised a lucky couple by crashing their reception to film their new music video. Guests were in complete shock and awe! It is one thing to have your wedding recorded by a videographer but to have it featured in a Maroon 5 music video with incredibly good-looking front-man, Adam Levine, forever, is about the coolest thing I could think of happening at a reception!

The band also posed for photos and played some of their hit songs for the crowd, including “She Will Be Loved.” The newlyweds, who were completely amazed by the band's wild surprise, danced to some of the group's hit tunes. It was definitely the surprise of a lifetime. Looks like Adam still has weddings and romance on his mind, since he married Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo in July! Also, Maroon 5’s new album, V, was released on September 2nd, so we seriously can’t wait to see the video!

What a great way to devour the details of their next music video and a special congrats to the newlyweds!
Maroon 5, Wedding Crashers
Maroon 5 crashed a wedding to film a music video

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Expect The Best: 8 Hot Catering Trends for 2015

Yum! I always love to check out some of the catering trends each year brings. For 2015, Kristi Casey Sanders of Plan Your Meetings gives her top 8 trends that we can't wait to devour! These dishes will without a doubt have attendees coming back for seconds. Check them out and make sure to serve them up at your 2015 meetings and special events!

1. Local Sourcing

This desire is what’s behind the consumer-fueled farm-to-table trend that’s showing up with more frequency on catering menus.

2. Vegetarian Dishes

Did you know that 50 percent of all Americans have at least one meatless meal a week? That percentage rises when you consider international attendees. So stay ahead of the game by always serving one vegetarian dish at your next event!


3. Gluten-free Dishes

This trend has been going on for a while but it is definitely more popular and has changed the face of cooking so much, it has now become commonplace in the kitchen. Instead of wheat, barley, rye and spelt, chefs are using ancient grains like quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth. These grains are more nutritious than wheat-based flours and more interesting than a rice pilaf.

4. Ice Cream Combos in Gourmet Flavors

It is being predicted that attendees will start seeing more liquid nitrogen ice cream stations at event. Easy for chefs to do, this creates an entertainment piece for attendees, adding to the value of the food and beverage.


5. Upscale Comfort Food

People will always love simple, home-cooking. Chefs are now taking that to another level by giving attendees that same warm belly feeling but incorporating ingredients you wouldn't typically fine in these ordinary dishes. Think macaroni and cheese, but served Italian-style with sautéed salami, garlic, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

6. Mash-Up Dishes

Trending in 2015 will be a variation on sliders. Instead of bread, cheeseburgers are served on grilled ramen noodle buns.


7. Umami

The forgotten flavor taste buds pick up. Recognized as a meaty flavor, examples include soy sauce and ketchup. It’s a taste you can add to beef, sauces and soups.

8. Biscuits

The new "it" ingredient, it is predicted that biscuits will be 2015′s most popular handheld food container for miniature passed sandwiches, salads, apps and more.

Devour the details and ring in the New Year with these delectable catering trends of 2015!