Month: December 2017

Swag Bag Party Photo Wall

I have always loved taking and having lots of photos so when I was planning my Holiday Swag Bag Party I knew I wanted to do some sort of fun photo wall.

I have an accent wall in my office that is a leopard pattern so I thought I’d start with that.  I rented a “pipe and drape” (poles and drapes) at a party rental store that defines the space a little more for the background.  Then I pushed aside the furniture in my office.

I found some fun photo props at TJ Maxx and got the letter balloons to spell out FUN.  The day before the party I took the balloons to my local grocery and had them filled with helium.  Then Wal-la!  A photo backdrop.

I have loved looking back at these photos.  Life is too short not to have FUN!!  🙂

FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Photo Wall Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and Aboutpics were taken by @verajeanaephotography

Have you seen the other Holiday Swag Bag posts?

How to host a holiday swag bag party here
Holiday appetizers and drinks I served at the holiday swag bag party here

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Leopard coat two ways!

Hello Winter!!  What’s better than a leopard coat?  A reversible leopard coat.  You decide what mood you’re in.  All out leopard or just a hint of leopard.  I know having options makes tolerating this cold weather so much more bearable for me.  🙂

Leopard reversible coat with denim

 

 

 

 

Some of my other winter favs are from ABLE denim! Beautiful leather bags, jewelry, denim, apparel, and shoes… all made by women locally & globally who have overcome extraordinary circumstances… from addiction to homelessness to prostitution. Check it out using my link: http://able.refr.cc/sarahschumacher & sign up for their emails to get $10 off your first purchase!

All amazing jewelry from Collections by Joya

Leopard coat and denim

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Easy appetizers and drinks I served at my holiday swag bag party.  

Cheers Sarah, Christine, Rachel and Ann Santa define nice

 

 

 

 

 

I was in search of some easy appetizers and drinks to make for my holiday swag bag party.  I called my go-to foodie friend Christine to discuss options.  I knew she’d be a big help, because she knows I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, but still want to wow my guests with a fun snacks and drinks.  

The primary goal for my menu was to serve appetizers I could assemble quickly, that would require three or fewer ingredients. I decided to showcase a mix of sweet and savory apps that were served cold and hot.

Here’s what I chose:

filo cups

Spinach Filo Cups.  

  • Filo cups
  • Your favorite dip (spinach artichoke works great!)

This is my “go-to” appetizer for all my parties, and are a huge hit.  They look really fancy, but they’re the easiest tasty bites to assemble.  Dierbergs carries already-baked filo cups.  While you’re there grab some of their fresh spinach artichoke dip.  All you do is spoon the dip into the filo cups, and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  You can also order them at pre-assembled, and take them home to bake.  

Anne and Sarah Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crockpot Meatballs

  • 1 package of meatballs
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays’ Honey Chipotle is really good).
  • 1 jar of apricot jelly

The crockpot can be your best friend when hosting a party.  Just throw the ingredients into the crock, and it takes care of the rest.  The apricot jelly adds a different twist to this classic appetizer.  My guests raved about this one, and requested the recipe.

cream cheese stars

Red Pepper Stars

  • 1 brick of cream cheese
  • 1 bottle of red pepper jelly

Divide and cut the cream cheese into a creative shape using a cookie cutter.  To prevent the cream cheese from sticking, spray the cookie cutter with Pam.  Then just top your shapes with the red pepper jelly, and enjoy with toast bites or crackers.  These are a simple way to make the holidays special.  For Valentine’s Day do hearts, shamrocks for St Patrick’s Day, and pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Baked goat cheese and marinara

  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara
  • 1 log of goat cheese
  • Fresh basil for garnish

This appetizer was inspired by my favorite tapas restaurant in St. Louis: Barcelona.  It’s so simple and looks so festive.  All you have to do is pour the marinara sauce into small baking dish.  Next slice the goat cheese and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until toasted and sauce is bubbling.  Serve with toast bites.

Cinnamon Chip Breadbowl

Cinnamon chip bread bowl

  • Cinnamon Chip bread bowl  from @Great Harvest Bread Co
  • Cheesecake fruit dip
  • Apple slices

I love making this Cinnamon Chip bread bowl into an amazing party treat.  This bread tastes like heaven!  Just core out the top and put in the smooth and tasty cheesecake fruit dip from Dierbergs’ deli department.  I also like to serve it with fresh apple slices.  If you’re looking for a show-stopper; this is it!

 

chocolate dipped clementines

Chocolate covered clementines

  • Clementines
  • Dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Sea Salt

First, peel and divide the clementines.  Next, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, and dip half of the clementine into the chocolate.  Sprinkle with sea salt before the chocolate hardens.  Finally, place them on parchment paper and let cool in the refrigerator.  

Veggie Platter

Veggies and Dip from Dierbergs

I like having veggies as a healthy option for my guests.  I ordered a veggie platter from Dierberg’s because they’re always fresh and beautiful.  Just throw them onto your own platter and it looks like you did all the preparation.  

Buntini's

Bundtinis from “Nothing Bundt Cakes”

These delicious miniature bundt cakes, may be small, but pack a punch for any sweet tooth. Nothing Bundt Cakes has two   locations in Chesterfield and Brentwood.  They have a compact variety of flavors in six types of products (i.e. bundt cakes and bundt towers).  I went with chocolate chocolate chip (yep, that’s twice the chocolate) and red velvet for this party, and they all disappeared quick.

What we drank:

Very peary cocktail

Very Peary Breeze

  • 1 part pear vodka
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • 1 part apple juice
  • Frozen cranberries
  • Rosemary

Just like the name indicates, this drink is like a fresh breeze.  Once mixing the three drink ingredients, throw in some frozen cranberries.  These make for festive ice cubes, a nice pop of color, and keeps your drink cold without watering it down.  Finally, garnish with rosemary.   

Wine decisions red or white? Heather C

I also had a variety of red and white wines and water on hand.  You can jazz it up the water by putting a large ice cube with frozen oranges and cranberries inside the container.  

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So that covers what we ate and drank at the Swag Bag Party.  If you missed all the fun swag items you will want to check that out here.  The recipe for the Peary Beary Cocktail here and other party ideas here.
Next I’ll be showing you how I turned my office wall  into a photo back drop.  Here’s a sneek peek.
Photo wall
XOXO  Sarah
Party Pic photos by the talented @verajeanaephotography

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I was tagged by @Kaitlinclaywell to share my answers to 15 winter related questions.  I absolutely loved reading Kaitlin’s questions and answers.  She is so happy and fun and lives life to the fullest.  I love following Kaitlin’s blog because you never know where she’ll pop up that week  major benefits of being able to work anywhere on the planet.  So I thought this would be fun.  

I absolutely love the holidays but I don’t like winter.  While holidays can be stressful, I thrive during this time.  I enjoy fun activities with my boys, parties, food and drinks, shopping, checking out Christmas lights, and much more.  Because I get so much enjoyment from the holidays, it’s no surprise I go into an activity slump in January.  

  1. What’s your favorite holiday tradition?  

Our favorite tradition, which has been around since my oldest son was little, is our “Elf on the Shelf” who’s name is Chip.  I sometimes wish he would be around the house all year, because the boys behave knowing Chip is watching and reporting to Santa.  The only downside to Chip, is remembering to move him to a different location around the house each night after the boys go to bed.     

Elf on the shelf trouble

  1. What is your favorite go-to lippies?

A makeup artist at Nordstrom told me red lips were big this winter, so I wear a subtle Bobbi Brown shade called Cranberry.  Besides lip stick,  Burt’s Bees’ lip balm is amazing.  Several of my friends gave it out at my swag bag party in November, and it was very popular, so I’ve started using it.  

  1. What is your favorite winter scent? (perfume, candles, etc.)

My favorite winter smell is pine greenery and Christmas trees.  

To wear I prefer sweet perfumes like Viva la Juicy and Daisy by Marc Jacobs.  

  1. What’s your go-to winter fashion trend?

My style is classic, but I try to incorporate leopard, sequins, fur, leather and lace when possible.

Leopard coat and denim

  1. What is your favorite holiday movie?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  We watched it recently for our family movie night, and my boys are now obsessed with it.

  1. What’s your favorite holiday tune?

All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey.

  1. Do you prefer to travel or stay home?

I enjoy both, but if I had to choose, being home Christmas morning is so fun.  Some of my family live out of town, in Cape Girardeau but not too far away, so it’s easy to travel and join in on all the festivities.

  1. What’s your winter skincare must have?

Without a doubt, moisturizer.  My dermatologist says the best thing for your skin is moisturizer, sunscreen and retinol, so I never forgot to stay moisturized during the cold months.  I use Aveeno

  1. What is your favorite winter haircare product?

I really don’t have a favorite haircare product, but I love wearing stylish hats.  I’m in and out of buildings all day for work, so it’s easier for me to throw on a hat and still look put together.  (@NeverEnough)

Never Enough

  1. What is your favorite winter activity?

Looking at Christmas lights, especially ones that have pulled out all of the stops.  Two winter activities I’m hoping to do this year is tubing at Hidden Valley and sledding at Art Hill.  

  1. What is your favorite winter beauty product?  

I always feel better when I have a tan but I don’t want to damage my skin so, I use L’oreal’s Sublime Bronze towelettes  during the winter to get a little glow.  

  1. Love or hate the snow?

I love snow once a year.  I prefer just a dusting, because I don’t like driving in a lot of it; especially when I’m  “white-knuckling” and I hate being cold.  

  1. What is one item on your wishlist?

Having two busy-body boys, a full-night’s sleep would be tremendous.

  1. Favorite holiday treat?

I can’t pass up an Oreo cookie truffle ball.  The problem for me, is limiting myself to just one.  So, when I do eat one of these tasty treats, I savor it.

  1. Do you finish your holiday shopping before December or are you a last minute shopper?

I start early, but I always have some last minute things to grab too.  

It has been fun reflecting on why I love the holidays so much. I love reading these kinds of posts because I feel like I get to know my favorite bloggers better. If you do this tag, be sure to let me know! I want to learn more about you all. I’m tagging some amazing St. Louis mom bloggers below that I’m obsessed with. Be sure to check out their answers.  

Katelyn @thebejuledlife

Emily @emmyloustyles

Jen @andhattiemakesthree

Meghan @meghan.lane

Happy Holidays and thanks to @@Kaitlinclaywell

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How to throw a swag bag party and all my tips.

This is the hottest girls night out idea and perfect for the holidays.  You don’t need to be a celebrity or a blogger to get a great swag bag.  You just need to host a FUN filled holiday swag bag party and I’ll tell you how.  Swag bag party | Sarah Out and About

  1.  Invite your friends.  The swag bag party is a modern twist on the favorite things party.  The same premise applies.  Set a budget,  mine was $5.  I let my friends decide how much they wanted to spend but if you bring 4 items (spend $20) you take home 4 new items in your swag bag.  If you bring 6 items (spend $30) you take home six new swag bag items.

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  When the girls arrived I had them put the swag on my dining room table and asked each of them to write their name on a piece of paper for each item they brought.  So if they brought 4 items they wrote their name down 4 times.  Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

3.  After eating, drinking and taking lots of FUN photos (blog posts on all those details to come) we started the swag bag game.  Here’s how it works:  Each person talks about their swag, why they love it, where they use it, etc.  Then they tell everyone where they can get it and depending on how many items they brought they draw names and those people get to take home the swag.

I also handed out a swag bag to each guest to put all of their goodies in.

Holiday wrapping tip:  My friend Jessica gave me this idea.  She gets the Erin Condren labels personalized and buys the brown or white paper bags then coordinates the label with the tissue.  This makes a custom and super affordable gift bag for the holidays.

 

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and AboutIt is such a fun party and getting to hear what your friends are loving and hearing about new items you may not know about.  I had a friend write down each item so that if you didn’t get swag you were interested in you can check it out later.

 

These items are all great stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, gifts for your BFF, sister, mom, friends, etc. Who doesn’t want a swag bag?

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and AboutSwag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a list of all of the swag bag items brought to the party

Gold Bond Hand Lotion Target

Silicone wine glasses Amazon

Mini gold wallet Old Navy

Bissinger’s gummy pandas Bissinger’s

Woodsy Owl Ornament Cracker Barrel

Hand Made Holiday Soaps Christopher’s boutique

Aveda Foot Lotion Ginger Bay Salon

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Target

NYX Lip Moisturizer Target

Plaid Blanket Scarves Online

Silver Arrow Earrings Zulilly

Buntlett Cakes Nothing Bundt Cakes

JR Watkins Hand Soap and Yogi Chai tea Target

Fingerless gloves Old Navy

Wet Brush Target

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Target

Chapstick Total Hydration Target

Johnson & Johnson Travel items Target Aveno Lotion, Neutrogena make up remover, Listerine, Lavender Bath, Neutrogena hand cream

Ok so tell me what you would bring if you went to a swag bag party.  I want to know all the fun things you love!

XOXO  Sarah

Photography by:  @verajeanaephotography

 

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Are you ready for a very peary holiday cocktail?  This drink is so simple and festive for the holidays.  It looks like your drinking Christmas.  Yes!!

You’ll need:

Pear vodka
Apple juice
Cranberry juice
Cranberries and lime for garnish

Mix equal part of the pear vodka, cranberry juice, and apple juice.  Stir, garnish, and enjoy!!

Party Tip:  I like to freeze cranberries and the juice to add to the cocktail.  This prevents it from getting watered down.

very peary holiday cocktail cranberry ice cubes very peary holiday cocktail

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