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holiday party 16 | by the skinny confidential

holiday party 5 | by the skinny confidential


Can’t you tell?

I certainly can, I mean 1.) people are driving like absolute nuts. Some psycho cut me off 3 times today 2.) pumpkin flavored everything ( like no thanks I don’t need a pumpkin flavored car freshener ), and eer, 3.) my bank account. LOL.

Amid the nuttiness, there’s holiday parties! Parties on Monday, parties on Tuesday, on Wednesday, you get it.

I feel like everyone is on the same page when I say, for the next two weeks we all may be semi hungover. Not just from alcohol either, there’s cookies, crackers, cheese…oh my.

Anyway, since the next two weeks seems to be heavy on the holiday party theme, I thought I’d show you guys how I like to set up for a holiday party.

holiday party 3 | by the skinny confidential
holiday party 15 | by the skinny confidential

Don’t worry you don’t have to be Martha freaking Stewart either. My tips are super simple, quick, & EASY.

Really though, I set up this whole soirée in literally 30 minutes. And if we’re counting the time, I went to Cost Plus World Market and it took an hour. In & out. That’s how I like it. ANYONE ELSE?

So here’s the breakdown of my 1 hour holiday party prep…


1.) I ran into Cost Plus World Market & grabbed a bunch of goodies. They’re awesome for a one stop shop. Why I prefer this market: you can get everything at once. SO NICE. It’s so much easier than running to the market for crackers/cheese/wine & then having to go to a party store. I ran in with a friend grabbed candles, candle stands ( do you die for these horn candle holders or WHAT? ), candy, homemade potpourri materials, gingerbread men kits, tiny Brie cheeses,jalapeño chips, spicy pumpkin salsa, tiny Christmas trees, twinkle lights, wine/champagne/more wine, AND super cute glasses.

2.) After quickly checking out, I went home to set up! As you can see my set up is straight to the point with a touch of TSC flair. I kept the colors holiday-esque with a pop of pink ( hello sparkling rosé & tall, sexy candles! ).

holiday party 13 | by the skinny confidential

holiday party 2 | by the skinny confidential

3.) As you guys know I’M ALLLLLL ABOUT different heights, dimensions, & sizes. I believe that’s what makes a table set up SPARKLE. I use things like tall plants, tall candles, or bottles for the height & then keep the coasters, candies, food, & holiday decor shorter. I know that sounds weird, but trust me. When it comes to home decor or party design, different heights make ALL the difference.

holiday party 9 | by the skinny confidential

holiday party 11 | by the skinny confidential

4.) I always like to give my guests something to do that’s interactive but not douche-y. To be honest, I have no interested in playing ‘Pin the Diaper on the Baby’ when I’m at a baby shower…& when it comes to holiday parties, I love to do cookie decorating. It’s a rad way to keep the group talking, drinking, eating, & having fun while doing something that they can bring home as a souvenir.

Hence the gingerbread men kits:

holiday party 10 | by the skinny confidential

holiday party 4 | by the skinny confidential

5.) I’m also a huge fan of keeping the food snack-y. I never serve some huge chicken. I like tiny cheeses, chips, fruit kabobs, crackers, caviar ( shocker ), etc.

6.) Let’s talk drinks— shall we? I wanted to do something simple with a little holiday sparkle. When I found PEPPERMINT DUST SPARKLE at Cost Plus World market, I was more thrilled than when Michael proposed. BECAUSE ummmm, how cute & fun does it look around the rim of a cocktail glass!!! YES. To make my cocktails red, I just did vodka, pomegranate juice, & a little bit of raw, local honey. In each drink, I added a rock candy stick too!

holiday party 14 | by the skinny confidential

holiday party 12 | by the skinny confidential

holiday party 12 | by the skinny confidential

7.) Make sure you do the obvious like: light the candles, add some Frank Sinatra holiday music, take an Instagram, & put out plenty of napkins/plates too.

8.) Lastly, along with the cookies I like the guests to leave with a little something something. In this case I found delicious holiday body scrubs ( like ‘honey almond’!! ) & mini champagne bottles.

Definitely would want each of the guests to take home a little sparkle with them. Fun, right?

holiday party 7 | by the skinny confidential

Ok, shoot— your turn: how do you throw together a quick, fun party? Would love to hear any of your fun, easy additions!

On that note, I’m off to drink some tea with a leftover peppermint candy stick ; ).

Cheers to the holiday madness, lauryn x

{ photos }

holiday party 17 | by the skinny confidential

  1. I love everything in this post! Especially that peppermint dust…I have been searching everywhere for a pink or peppermint dust for the cookies I make…and this is perfect. I am going to pick some up today!

  2. I second the Frank Sinatra X-mas music–Great call! It’s also nice to keep some non-perishables in your pantry (champagne, sparkling wine, crackers, nuts etc.) that you can put out in a pinch.

    1. Hi Anna, great tip! And yes, Sinatra Christmas music is EVERYTHING. Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays :))

  3. Hey Lauren, just wanted to thank you for an awesome blog in 2015, and to wish you, Michael and the puppies a Happy Christmas and awesome 2016. Its funny, reading all these cold winter posts while over here in Australia its been sweltering (44C). Take care, and thankyou, Lynnie

    1. Hi Lynnie, I really appreciate your sweet comment. Thank you so much and Happy Holidays to you too babe!! xx

  4. I got a new bar cart and I keep it stocked and looking gorgeous at all times so that when guest come over I can just pull out some easy apps, throw some music on, and open the wine.

    1. Love it!! Bar carts are the best. Michael and I have them at our house as well. Thanks for reading Kari <3

  5. How awesome! I definitley needs to take your advice for throwing a kick ass party in one hour because I am not the quickest on my feet when it comes to parties. (It takes months for me to plan).

    Also, that pink peppermint dust….YUM!

    Thanks for Sharing!!

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