We created a New Year Resolutions post last year in order to set goals for ourselves and our blog for 2012. Recently, we decided to go back and read this post to make sure that we have stayed on track. We are proud to say that not only did we surpass the goals that we set, but we truly feel like we have established ourselves as confident bloggers (with a great following) and twin sisters on their way to building a business of their own.
Just like last year, we have goals we are setting for our blog; things that are working so far, things that we would like to change, and new ideas to add. This is officially the last post of 2012, and we thought what better way to close the year than to re-cap a  full year’s worth of Interior Design and DIY projects, event planning, guest blogs, recipes, and our newest additions; Craft Club and Pining For Pinterest posts. We have set a goal for ourselves to post every Monday and Wednesday with an additional Friday bonus post once a month and have fulfilled our goal so far. We have introduced our readers into our lives as well as our creative passions, and we have shown you our own personal styles through our “T Side / L Side” posts. Here’s a reminder of the different types of posts that frequent our blog:
Interior Design – As we both work full time in our chosen fields, this year’s Interior Design projects have mainly been focused around the remodel of Lauren and Scott’s condo (as seen in our previous post: Before and After: Master Bathroom Remodel). With this large project behind us, we are anxious to fill this blog with additional projects we have underway as well as an amazing nursery to come. 
DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects Projects like these homemade holiday tags (as seen on our previous post: Bags and Tags), scrapbooking, gift wrap, and various crafts are seen on our blog monthly. We have always loved focusing on the small details when it comes to craft projects, however this year we have established a consistent look to follow while working on these types of projects. We plan to continue to create new and innovative things while keeping our “look” in mind
Event Planning  This year we worked on several projects including birthday celebrations (like this one seen on our previous post: A 60th Birthday Party), as well as our sister’s wedding and even a very special Hen’s Night. We take great pride in the time and effort that goes into the planning and decorating of these types of events. We look forward to expanding in this area of our business this year and working collaboratively to create other special events (including our very first event of the year taking place on January 1st … posts to come!)
Guest Bloggers – Once a month, guest bloggers have an opportunity to showcase their work or projects on our blog. Posts like Guest Blogger: Lovely Lilac Roomsshow a different view in various areas such as; Interior Design, event planning, craft projects, recipes, and fashion. Huge thanks go out to Rebecca, Suzy, Hannah, our mom Marcy, Design Shuffle, Scott, David, Ashlee, Darci, and Anya for their amazing posts this year. The time and dedication they have put in is greatly appreciated. Let us know if you would like to be our next guest blogger.
Bonus Posts – We have included at least one Friday bonus post per month and intend to continue. These posts (like Confetti Cake Pops) showcase treats and other creative recipes that we have recently made as well as a way to revisit our projects that we have continued to add to.
 Inspiration Through Travel – This is an occasional addition to our blog when we are fortunate enough to leave town for the weekend to celebrate a friend (as seen on our previous post: Inspiration Through Travel: Bachelorette Party in Chicagoor better yet relax in Hawaii for an entire week. We would love to continue making this a tradition, returning from each trip and showcasing what inspired us along the way.
Holidays – Holidays are a way of keeping posts relevant each month. We post home decor, craft projects, activities, and festive treats that go along with the season or upcoming holiday. This post, Haunted Graveyard, is a perfect example of an exciting project that we coordinated and brought to life.

T Side / L Side – This is a type of post that is near and dear to our hearts. We use “T Side / L Side” to give you a sneak peek into our homes and individual styles (like this post, T Side / L Side: Holiday Wrapping). “Sometimes we are the same, sometimes we are different, but we are always twin sisters.” This quote comes from one of our favorite children’s books, Just Like Me. We relate to this story because it tells of twin sisters who are a lot alike but sometimes different, just like us. This ties our entire blog theme together, as we sometimes have different styles or ways of doing things, but enjoy working on projects “Side by Side” and have even managed to merge these two different styles to create one cohesive look. 

Craft Club – Our Craft Club was started in September and is still going strong. We, along with the other members, look forward each month (as seen in our post Craft Club: Thanksgiving Place Cards) to get together and craft while munching on potluck snacks. We plan to continue this new tradition coming up with fun ideas and collaborating with other creative women.

Pining For Pinterest – This is a new addition to our blog this year and a personal favorite type of post as it allows us an opportunity to dream a little bit. Four times a year, we come up with our own individual looks (like these ones seen on our post Pining For Pinterest: Spring 2012) that coordinate with the trends of the season. 
By creating these boards, we are hoping to inspire those of you who are hosting parties in your near future or those looking to do something new with their home. Don’t worry we are just a phone call away if you need our help.

 Side by Side Design’s New Year Resolutions are as follows:

  • Continue to post every Monday and Wednesday incorporating Interior Design and DIY projects, event planning, guest bloggers, bonus posts, travel inspiration, holidays, T Side / L Side posts, Craft Club, and Pinterest inspiration.
  • Continue to grow the amount of readers who visit our blog every week inspiring them along the way.
  • Continue to take our reader’s feedback into account and tailor our posts accordingly.
  • Expand upon creating the Side by Side Design brand.
  • Continue to collaborate on various types of design and event projects, building the business as we go.
  • Continue working on fine tuning our vendor list as we collaborate with other creative individuals.
 This year we plan to Create . Coordinate . Collaborate in order to provide you with a full year of exciting blog posts in 2013. Happy New Year from Side by Side Design!
We would really love to hear from you (our readers). What kinds of resolutions or feedback do you have for us (the bloggers)? What are your favorite types of posts? What would you like to see more of? What can we add to enhance your reading experience? Any constructive criticism is welcome as well. Your comments are greatly appreciated and will be taken very seriously. 

Anya Sarre is one of Hollywood’s most influential trendsetters. A nationally recognized celebrity stylist, Sarre is known for her impeccable eye and ability to tie any look together with the perfect accessory. Named “Best Television Fashion Stylist” for her appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, and countless other media outlets, Sarre is the go-to fashion expert for Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. We are so excited to have Anya Sarre as our guest blogger today and to pick up a few New Year’s fashion tips. We hope you do too!

Great Affordable Holiday Looks and Accessories
Written by: Anya Sarre

Although beauty is really skin deep, dressing up and looking good can help you feel beautiful and confident. We use fashion as an expression form. We are able to show the world who we are and how we feel with the clothes that we wear. You feel your best when you are wearing clothes that you like. The holidays are an excellent time to take advantage of all the parties to dress-up and feel good.

Holiday dressing can be tricky with the chilly weather and dropping temperatures. If done correctly, you can create endless possibilities with only a few pieces. The key is to layer your outfits. Most of us think that layering will add bulk, but, if done right it will look chic and glamorous.

One of the biggest trends this holiday season is sequins and embellishments. They are showing up in everything from casual sweaters to shoes and party dresses. Pair a chiffon button down with leggings and flat boots for a day around town. Change into a skirt and heels to transition the blouse to an evening look. For holiday and New Year’s parties, pair an embellished dress with tights and sky-high heels.

Another big trend this season are peplum tops and dresses. This is one of the most figure flattering clothing items out there. A peplum top can be very versatile. You can pair it with jeans and boots for a more casual look. If you are dressing up for a party, you can pair it with a pencil skirt for a more evening look. Peplum tops are showing up in a variety of fabrics and styles. Some of the trendiest are embellished tops or leather fabric. A peplum dress can also be very versatile. A dress in black or solid color can be paired with ballerina flats and tights for a daytime look. You can dress it up with heels and an embellished collar necklace. A peplum dress can also be worn for more demure occasions, such as a family party when the accessories are kept simple and tasty.

Dressing up for the holidays does not have to be stressful or expensive. The important thing is to choose clothing items that fit your body type and personality. If you feel good about what you are wearing, you will look good to the rest of the world. Confidence will always be your best accessory. It can make or break any great outfit.

Readers, if any of you would like to be our next guest blogger, we would love to include your projects or inspiration in our blog. You can contact us by posting a comment below or emailing us at sidebyside.design@yahoo.com. 


This is truly our favorite time of year! The holidays are a chance to get together with friends and family and celebrate at different types of gatherings. However, you can never show up to an event empty handed. We like to come up with an assortment of ideas for potluck recipes in order to bring something unique to each party we attend. Here are three different recipes we used for this year’s holiday hors d’oeuvres:

Herbed Shrimp and Tomatoes (with basil dipping sauce): This was a great addition to our Craft Club meeting with the girls. It was easy to make and quick to eat while we were making our Holiday Treats.

Spinach Artichoke Dip: This healthier and delicious version was perfect for a family holiday gathering. It was served with toasted crustini bread but can also be substituted for blue corn or regular tortilla chips.

Marinated Mozzarella: We used this recipe as an alternative to a favorite of ours (seen on our previous post: Cheese and Crackers). It was quick to make but gobbled up even quicker at a friend’s holiday party. We used a little of the seasoned oil from the sun dried tomatoes as a delicious addition to the recipe.

We hope all of our readers are having a happy and healthy holiday season full of celebration and good eats!


“Mix” is back by popular demand! In fact, it has become our tradition to make “mix” to pass out for the holidays. We even have friends and family that ask for it by name and get very excited to receive their bag each year. This is not the first time “mix” has made an appearance on our blog (as you can see on our previous post, In the “Mix”) and the ingredients are not new. We add mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, and crushed candy cane to a sweet Chex mix and pretzel sticks combination for the holidays. However, we decided to add a bit of personal flair to each treat’s bag and tag to make this year’s “mix” extra special.

Each one of a kind tag was made with pattern, texture, and a little shine.

Translucent red bags gave each treat one more pop of color that did not compete with the colorful tag, and a bit of turquoise twine tied it all together.

We want to know, what is your favorite treat to pass out for the holidays? Is there something a friend or family member of yours makes that you look forward to sinking your teeth into every time the holidays arrive? Feel free to comment below. We would love to hear from you.


Recently, a friend of ours sent us this invitation to attend a holiday social at Urbanic Paper Boutique. Although we had never heard of this particular paper shop, we always enjoy supporting local businesses and spending our time around other creative people. We were not sure what to expect, but were certainly not disappointed.

Urbanic Paper Boutique in Venice, California is an adorable shop filled with custom wrapping paper, cards, and small trinkets / gifts. We found ourselves scanning the shelves for hours admiring all that they had to offer and although we wanted pretty much everything we saw, we had to hold back a little and only purchase the season’s necessities. However, this does not mean that we won’t be back soon!

We found out that Urbanic Paper Boutique hosts this type of event twice a year. It is a great chance for creative types (like us) to get together, network, and even leave with a little something we made ourselves. Their back patio was set up with round cocktail tables and crafting supplies while twinkle lights and garland put us in a holiday mood.

Delicious desserts, wine, and cranberry infused water were provided and as you can see, no design detail was overlooked. 

Two projects were set up at tables for guests to create holiday decorations as they mingled. The first was a mini version of this paper garland. All it took was a little glue, some string, and pre-cut holiday inspired paper.

The second project took a little bit more patience and direction. Above you can find the instructions to make a geometric paper ornament. We enjoyed getting the chance to meet the Creative Director of S &G, Ebony Snow Chafey, who designed all of these creative papers and projects.
As we prepared to head home for the night, we selected a few of our favorite items to purchase and received this adorable complimentary party gift along with them. We look forward to attending more of Urbanic Paper Boutique’s events in the future and know we won’t be able to stay away when we are in need of some new wrapping paper or a special card.