New Year’s Eve: Outfit Inspiration

Need some last minute inspiration on what to wear tonight? New Year’s Eve is all about stepping it up a notch! So take a classic look: pretty dress, heels and a clutch, and make it memorable! Add a pop of color, some sequins, a luxe fabric… or all of the above!

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Outfit 1
1. Sequins always make it festive.
Sequin of Events Dress :: Lulus

2. This fringe adds a little sass.
B-Low the Belt Twiggy Clutch :: Shopbop

3. These are such a statement heel.
L.A.M.B. Tomas Ankle Pumps :: Shopbop
BONUS! Shopbop is having a “sale is on sale!” sale! 25% off with offer code CHEERS2015 until 1/1. Go buy cute stuff!

Outfit 2
1. Stun in a white dress with lace detailing.
For Love and Lemons Rosette Dress :: Nasty Gal

2. This crazy awesome clutch is the perfect accessory for NYE.
Santi Jewel Clutch :: Shopbop

3. Finish the look with the brightest heel you own!
Mojo Moxie Billie Pump :: DSW


Outfit 3

1. Blue velvet = always a good idea.
Sirens of the Time Dress :: Modcloth

2. Charlotte Olympia is killing me!
Charlotte Olympia Fantastic Chain Clutch :: Selfridges

3. Finish off the look with gold sequin heels with an adorable strap.
Yes I Candescent Heel in Gold:: Modcloth

Now that I’m looking at it, you could seriously mix and match all of these things in a number of ways!

Have fun tonight, and Happy New Year from us here at HPK!

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Marshmallow Pops!

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Happy new year pretty kitties!

We are back in action after a little winter break, and we come bearing a wonderfully easy treat just perfect for a little soiree! Or a big soiree, since you can make a lot in a small amount of time. Have you ever heard of marshmallow pops? Wellllll they are a tasty and dare I say sorta healthy? dessert treat. And a cinch to make! You can find plenty of recipes on the web for these, but why do that when you’re reading this one?

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INGREDIENTS

one bag of marshmallows
white melting chocolate discs
sprinkles
paper straws

sprinkles!

DIRECTIONS

Put down wax paper wherever you plan on resting your pops.
Using a knife, cut a little X in one end of each marshmallow before inserting the paper straw.
Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or on your stove, per the package directions.
Dip your marshmallow into the white chocolate, sort of twirling the excess chocolate off.
Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle sprinkles!
Put the pop top side down on the wax paper to let dry.

INSIDER TIPS

At first I dipped the white chocolate-covered marshmallow into the bowl of sprinkles, but I quickly found that created a crazy amount of sprinkles on each pop, and let’s face it: sprinkles are pretty and festive, but they aren’t necessarily super fun to eat. Use sparingly by just dropping the sprinkles on.

I did these the night before my party, so I wrapped them in saran wrap in a 9 x 13 pan so they wouldn’t dry out. I ended up having some leftover and took them to a party 2 days later and they were still good to go!

Get creative! You can use almond bark, dark chocolate, or whatever as the melting part and really you could dip that in a slew of other things too, like crushed up peppermint, or crushed graham cracker for a s’mores take, etc.

Bonus: Kids love ’em!

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Have fun poppin’!

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Wedding Rehearsal

I get really into celebrations and because of this, I don’t have a birthday, I have a birthday week (or month, if I can get away with it!) and likewise, our wedding wasn’t just one day, it was a whole wedding week! I made the fantastic decision to take the entire week before my wedding off of work and I have to say I am SO glad to have made that decision. This gave me the chance to rest, tie up loose ends before the wedding and spend some extra time with friends that came from out of town. By the time the wedding itself actually rolled around I felt really prepared and fairly calm.

The day before the wedding I took to my bridesmaids to get manicures and pedicures, something I’d never done before but something I will definitely be doing again! It was the best, most relaxing treat!! And, a month later, my pedicure is actually still holding up really well. Bonus!

From there an army of friends and family helped decorate the venue and before I knew it it was time to get ready for our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!

We really lucked out in that we got our wedding venue for the entire weekend, which afforded us the luxury of decorating the day before as well as deciding to host a low key rehearsal dinner in the venue. We loved our wedding venue a lot, it was such a great open space and looked so lovely all decorated up to our taste, so we decided to throw a pizza party there instead of planning a fancy dinner elsewhere. I admit the thought of foregoing a fancy rehearsal dinner wasn’t my first choice, but once my husband suggested it it made sense and I’m so happy we chose something low key. Especially after all the wedding planning we did; planning a rehearsal dinner was the last thing I wanted to do. So we got pizza from our favorite local pizza place and my mom very generously made desserts (super delicious tiramisu!) and we broke into the beer and wine supply we had set aside for the wedding.

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Now this dress… I’m in love with it and have been for years! I got it at a vintage store in Omaha and have only broken it out on a few occasions. Our wedding rehearsal was definitely a special enough occasion for this dress. It’s made so well, as many vintage dresses are. They really don’t make clothes like they used to. Having bought a lot of vintage over the years I have realized though, a sad fact of vintage dresses is that they are often pretty uncomfortable. This is not the case with this dress, thankfully! The material has a nice weight to it and it actually has a good amount of stretch, which I always appreciate!

I got these wedges recently from Modcloth, and they are so super comfy. They come with a detachable ankle strap, which I like. An ankle strap can be nice but I’m just not always in the mood for it, you know?
The bow was a last minute decision- it’s very hard for me to go anywhere without some sort of hair accessory on. I got this one at Vitae and think its pops out of my black hair very nicely!

Over the years John has done a great job of getting me antique rings (great guy!) but ever since I got my engagement ring I stopped wearing them, I guess to showcase it as being the REALLY special ring! But I loved the other rings he’s given me and I always will. The ring on my right hand here is the first one he gave me (well, technically the second, I lost the first one he gave me, which was kind of devastating to me at the time…) and I have always loved this one, especially. He got it at a flea market, and now after some years it’s missing some stones but I still love it as much as I always have.

Now that I’ve made it through planning a wedding, some people have asked me for advice, which is this (maybe a tad cliche but all true):
• Do what you want to do, it is your wedding after all.
• Let other people help you, because they want to help you!
• Take time off of work beforehand 🙂
• And finally, have fun and appreciate everything as its happening!

Outfit details: dress :: Thrifted | bow :: Vitae | shoes :: Modcloth | tights :: Target (last season) |

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My wedding!

We don’t have our professional photos back yet, but here’s a glimpse via Facebook, Instagram and our iPhones at our awesome wedding festivities.

All hitched up!

All hitched up!

The wedding party + cat masks

The wedding party + cat masks

the best, most beautiful bridesmaids/friends a girl could ever ask for!

the best, most beautiful bridesmaids/friends a girl could ever ask for!

We made it through the ceremony | The luxury of being the bride!

We made it through the ceremony | The luxury of being the bride!

Heart garland decoration | Bridesmaids chowing down on some cake pre-ceremony

Heart garland decoration | Bridesmaids chowing down on some cake pre-ceremony

Rehearsal dinner with ladies! | We were so hungry here!

Rehearsal dinner with my ladies! | We were so hungry here!

Here, Pretty Kitty with our husbands!

Here, Pretty Kitty with our husbands!

Dancin' with Scott | I feel like this obit looks fake/posed but it's totally genuine!

Dance floor time! | I feel like this looks a bit fake/posed but it’s totally genuine!

First dance to Yo La Tengo | Our desserts!

First dance to Yo La Tengo | Our desserts!

And just a peek at some of the fun Polaroids from our wedding photo booth!

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Xoxo!

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Jessi’s Bridal shower

Part two of the best weekend ever consisted of an all ladies, super brunch buffet, complete with a mimosa bar and otherwise known as my awesome bridal shower!
Brunch is, 100%, one of my favorite things about any weekend. And a brunch buffet is basically heaven. Two kinds of Quiche, Mac and cheese, Brie bites, crab rangoon, coffee (with coffee ice cubes!), blueberry muffins, cheesecake and more!! My bridesmaids worked their asses off to prepare this feast and I couldn’t have been more blown away!
It seemed very indulgent to have a whole weekend dedicated me and my upcoming wedding, but this only happens once, so I embraced the good times and enjoyed every moment! It was so nice to talk with all the ladies, eat delicious, delicious food and, I have to say, it was pretty fun to get some wedding presents!!

This white dress was a gift from my mom and my brother’s girlfriend, and I absolutely love it! It fits me perfectly and isn’t like anything else I already own. I don’t wear a lot of white, but I figure I might as well live it up as the bride and embrace some white in my wardrobe. I love this dress because it’s a little more ivory and not bright white.

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While I absolutely love these shoes, they are TOTAL killers! My poor feet can’t stand them for much more than a few hours, but it’s still worth it to break them out every now and then. One of my bridesmaids, Shannon, gave me this inflatable cupcake, which is too cute. The perfect prop! And the tattoo on the back of my neck is a remnant from the bachelorette party two days prior.

All in all it was such an amazing weekend (have I mentioned that yet?) The biggest shout-outs ever go to Marlena and Mindy for meticulously planning and putting together the best shower a girl could ask for. And I can’t believe we still have a whole wedding to look forward to! Yay!!

Outfit details: dress :: gift | shoes :: Urban Outfitters (similar) | necklace, rings :: Forever21

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Ladies Weekend

Hey there pretty kitties, want to know something I’ve discovered about getting married??? For one, you get to be with the one you love for the rest of your life and throw a huge party (duh!) But two, it’s an excellent reason to get to spend lots of quality time with all the other totally awesome people in your life, celebrating not only the relationship you have with your betrothed, but the great relationships you have with your best friends and family. Sorry to sound cheesy and sentimental! But I have some of the greatest friends on the planet who threw me pretty much the best bachelorette party and bridal shower weekend a girl could ever hope for. It was incredible (and we have the blurry pictures to prove it)!!!

I don’t think anyone would ever say I’m a traditional girl, and my bridesmaids took that to heart. I was not forced to wear a sash or veil, there was no penis paraphernalia and no embarrassing scavenger hunt. Those things are all good and fine for some, but just not my cup of tea. There was, however, a limo (an absolute MUST, I say!) a hotel room, Cards Against Humanity, great dinner, great friends, great speeches, and many, many, many drinks!

Highlights of the night included (but are not limited to):
– a rapid-fire questionnaire, stolen from our favorite podcast Totally Laime (shout out!) and personalized by my lovely maid of honor, Miss Marlena
– riding in the limo, drinking champagne and cranberry cocktails and singing along to some awesome jams
– answering many questions wrong on the Newlywed Game questionnaire filled out by my honey
– bar hopping around to some of my favorite bars, and running into my husby-to-be at the end of the night
– getting to hang out and love on all the awesome ladies in my life, both local and from far away (minus one beautiful bridesmaid, who couldn’t make it. We missed her dearly!)
– and lastly, passing out in the hotel from too much fun at the end of the night while everyone else partied on….

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The limo arrived and it was a beast! But it had to be to fit all those girls. This picture is post-hotel drinks, pre-dinner. And, I have to say, there’s not one, not two, but three Jesse/Jessi’s here. Outstanding!
There’s also a Mindy, Marlena and Shannon there, and I love them all the same, even though we don’t share a name 🙂

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Me with some of my oldest and dearest friends, also 3 of my four bridesmaids. What beauties!

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I took the liberty of appropriately labeling my own cup. | Once the gift bags came out we didn’t put the party favors away all night!

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Near the end of the night we thought it appropriate to take selfies in the bathroom. Makes sense, right? | This limo was intense, as evidenced by the lightning screen in the background.

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Shannon making it rain with her mountains of cash! | I told you we didn’t put the party favors away all night. They made perfect unicorn horns!

I really have the best bridesmaids, am I right???

Stay tuned for details on the bridal shower that blew my mind, coming up later this week.

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DIY: Cat Straws and Toothpicks!

So for Jessi’s bachelorette party, I decided to whip up these fun cat straws for a fun addition to our champagne limo ride.

These were fairly easy once I worked out the kinks. Let’s get to it!

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MATERIALS

Paper straws (I bought these cute striped straws from Target. They are cute on their own! And they were $2)
A few pieces of card stock
A pencil
Scissors
Metallic sharpie or some other marker you like
Circle punch
Hot glue or strong glue

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. With your pencil, start by drawing a cat head shape on the backside of the card stock. You may want to try it out on a regular piece of paper first.

2. Once I drew my perfect shape, I cut out the cat head and used it as a template for the rest of them. Cut those cuties out!

3. Make little kitty faces using the sharpie.

3. Using the circle punch, cut out as many circles as you did cat heads.

4. Now glue just half of that tiny circle to the back of the cat head.

5. Put the straw under the circle. Now dot the other side of the circle and glue it down. I didn’t do it very tightly so I could adjust where the kitty was on the straw.

You’re all done! I will say that since they were adjustable, some girls at the party mentioned they were going to take the kitty with them and use them on different straws. The paper straws were cute, but they weren’t exactly long-lasting!

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Me, Jess, Jessi, and Mindy…. all ready with our straws… but where are our drinks?!

While you’re at it . . . make some smaller and glue them onto toothpicks! I also found some glittery hearts at Micheal’s that I added.

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There’s just something about toothpicks with things on top that make everything more festive! Here are our dessert blueberry muffins decked out at Jessi’s bridal shower:

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Check back soon for more details on the amazing weekend we had!

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Baked Pickles: The Perfect Birthday Party Appetizer

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Two words. Fried. Pickles.
I’ve only discovered these within the last few years but, while pretty much any food tastes good fried, pickles are exceptional!
When I host a party I love to make snacks. And no matter how much food I make its usually gone by morning. If there’s still some leftover that’s just a bonus!
This year I went some of the usuals, like Amy Sedaris’s Lil Smoky Cheese Ball, which always blows everyone away. But I wanted to try something new. Insert “Fried” pickles. These babies were actually baked, not fried, but delicious none the less!

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Recipe adapted from Shrinking Kitchen.

Ingredients

Pickles (You can either use the kind already cut into slices or cut up some whole dill pickles. I cut up whole pickles so the slices would be nice and thick.)

1 cup Italian –style panko crumbs

Few sprigs of fresh dill (optional)

1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If using whole pickles, cut to bite-size.
  3. Mix the dill with the panko crumbs in a bowl.
  4. Beat the egg in a separate bowl. You’ve successfully made a pickle makin’ station!
  5. First dip the pickle in the egg, then roll around in the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Put each pickle round on a foil-covered baking sheet, about an inch or two apart.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, flip. Bake 7 minutes more. Broil for one minute (but make sure they don’t burn!)
  8. You can serve with ranch dressing, or if you’re feeling spicy, try this chipotle mayo I used.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

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Partyyyy Time

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If you know me well, and even if you don’t, you know that I love my birthday!! Birthday week as a whole was really amazing for me this year, and the best part was definitely the birthday party John and I threw at our place. Lemme tell you kittens, it did not disappoint! I had a great time, as did the guests. There was food, friends, music, dancing, presents (!!!) and of course the AHMAZING cat party hats that Marlena made. Check out the DIY to see what I’m talking about.
During the party John got out his old camcorder and secretly pulled friends aside to have them record birthday messages for me Real World confessional style. It was such a fun treat to watch the next morning! It was all so much fun I almost forgot that I even turned 30 🙂

I love this lil party number I picked up at Forever21. Sizing at Forever21 can definitely be a little discouraging. Sometimes I’m a small and sometimes I can’t even squeeze into a large… This dress has a nice poufy skirt which I assumed would be no problem, but once I got it on the lining inside was so tiny I couldn’t fit it over my hips. I bought the dress anyway and promptly cut out the unnecessary lining and voila! Problem solved.
I’ve been waiting for a purrrrrfect occasion to break out these bow tights and they did not disappoint. They felt right at home under this dress adorned with bows at the hip. I thought these shoes would be new favorites but after wearing them for a whole night I’m not so sure. My feet and calves were paying for all the dancing done in those pretty shoes, but (almost) worth it, I’d say!
All the jewelry worn were presents given to me throughout the night. During party preparations I forgot to accessorize, but that turned out to be no problem at all. Thanks friends!

P.s. I can’t forget to mention Gladys the goose! Doesn’t she look pretty sitting there in the corner? She was definitely a hit of the night.

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Hi there, Marlena here! We decided to do our outfit post together this week: and I have to say that even though our pics are a bit lower in quality (I mean, our main light source was a goose) they are a bit higher in fun! Haha, that sounds cheesy but it’s true. Anyway,  I absolutely love John and Jessi’s parties: they never disappoint, and this time was no exception! Between the dancing, the cheese ball, and the awful strawberry whiskey, I had a wonderful time; I mean it ended with me begging my husband to let me spend the night! (He reasonably said no.)

I just bought this dress at Urban Outfitters when we were in Omaha during one of those “clearance-is-on-clearance” sales. I like to think I saved this dress from the shredder. Or Marshall’s. It has a lot of the best things I look for in a dress: stripes, sweetheart neckline, cut out back, and pockets! I went the nautical route by adding my red bow belt and blue flats. I must have been too excited for the party because I, like Jessi, totally forgot about jewelry! Woops.

Well, happy birthday again to my lovely blogger bestie!

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Jessi’s outfit details: Dress :: forever21 | tights :: target | shoes :: urban outfitters | earrings/necklace :: gift! | bow pin :: gift! | party hat :: marlena! DIY

Marlena’s outfit details: party cat hat :: DIY | dress :: Urban Outfitters (similar)| red bow belt :: thrifted | flats :: Charlotte Russe (coral version)

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DIY: Mini Party Cat Hats!

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Mini party hats. Brilliant, right? No nasty string bugging your chin, and there’s something cuter about them cocked to one side. I had seen this image bouncing around on Pinterest and decided to spring into action for Jessi’s birthday party. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any further instructions than what the image said, so I definitely had my work cut out for me. But, dear kittens, I feel I prevailed (even if we did have to set up a “Party Hat Repair Station” during the festivities). Now that I know what did and didn’t work though, I’ll be able to share with you the best ways to make your own!

Let’s get started!

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Materials:

card stock paper with your choice of pattern

Note: I couldn’t find the cat paper I was envisioning in my head, so I stalked party goers’ fb pages for their cats and then collaged them together in Photoshop. I love how it turned out!

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party hat template (download this nifty one from Oh Happy Day! and then check out her cute blog)

Note: I was too lazy to print it out so I just sketched it and it came out fine. You’ll see I didn’t do the little flap on the side just because I thought it looked like more work, but it would have probably helped.

scissors
headbands
decorations, like pom-poms, fringe, crepe paper, stickers, garland, etc!
hot glue gun + glue
ribbon

Instructions:

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Step 1: Using your party hat template, trace the template onto your cat paper.

Step 2: Twist the paper to shape it into a little hat. I practiced on a few blank sheets first and I believe that helped. I just taped it shut on the seam. Some of the tricky ones I glued down with the glue gun. Note: if you think it’s too big, just adjust the size of your template by cutting the bottom portion.

Step 3: Decorate that hat! I glued everything onto the hat with the glue gun. Pom poms on top are a must! To make the fringe with the crepe paper, just glue lengthwise, the cut into strips. I say in this situation, the more festive the better! Just keep gluing. Start everything on the seam (see pic) so that way it will be nice and clean on all sides.

Step 4: Now comes the part that I found tricky: attaching it to the headband. At first I used the glue gun, which sort of worked, but then most of them fell apart at the party. SO: Jessi came up with how to attach them and it’s genius. Poke a hole on each side (I just used a regular ol’ ink pen). Now thread some ribbon through each side and tie to the headband. Do on both sides of the hat. This is genius because it (surprisingly) doesn’t fall off, AND because it’s adjustable on the headband. Note: I used ribbons so I could make cute little bows, but you can use a slew of things. During the party we had to think on our feet so we ended up using pipe cleaner and it worked like a charm!

Step 5: You’re done. Go wear that party hat with pride. Meow!

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Us in our party hats!

Us in our party hats!

This is just the first post of our fun-filled birthday week! Stay tuned for our birthday party outfits and nummy birthday appetizer!

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