Growing up, we spent many a New Years Eve at our family’s cabin in Pine Mountain. Although we always had fun playing lots of board games, watching VHS tapes, and ringing in the New Year with a sparkling cider toast, it was far from glamorous. As young girls, we yearned for the days when our parents would actually let us stay up til midnight (as they often turned the clocks back a few hours) and we could dress up in sparkly party dresses, blow horns, and yell “Happy New Year”. What we didn’t know at the time, however was that celebrating New Years Eve in the snow could be all of these things and more.
Today we are on our way back up to the snow and couldn’t be more excited! Mammoth is sure to bring time with friends, crisp clean air, the simplicity of cabin life, warm fires, hot cocoa, and even a little New Years Eve bubbly. We wanted to put together an inspiration board for a New Years cabin party as an ode to the trip we are about to embark upon, and in doing so were drawn to bits of plaid in all areas of decor and fashion.
This Ralph Lauren bedroom is all things cozy and warm and sets a backdrop for this cabin inspiration.
What’s a cabin party without a fire?
The plaid runner in our formal dinner setting reminds us of the party’s location. While the fancy stemware and florals lets us know it’s New Years Eve.
We thought this invitation introduced the theme nicely asking the guests to come in their favorite plaid accessories.
New Years Eve is all about style. Don’t let being in the snow with all those layers get in your way of wearing a hot plaid skirt or a tux with a tartan twist.
Staying indoors means all the more reason for having a cocktail or two. Cranberries and star anise sets a holiday tone.
It would be fun to get all bundled up and light sparklers to ring in the New Year.
We had way too much fun preparing this New Years cabin party inspiration board for all of you and hope that you enjoyed it as well. This little getaway is much needed and sure to be all that we could hope for in celebrating the coming of the new year. We can’t wait to share a look into our travels (…coming soon) and a very special resolutions post on New Years day! Happy New Year from Side by Side Design. May it be all that you wish for and more!

When we think about celebrating the holidays, treats are always involved. So it definitely pleased us when our friends Mary and Rachael gave us one more opportunity this holiday season to make and enjoy treats. The idea of a cookie exchange was one that was new to us and brought much excitement. How can you ever go wrong with sampling mass amounts of cookies?

The invitation was sent saying to please bring a plate of cookies and come by for some holiday cheer. They announced that they will have little favor bags for their guests to take home an assortment of cookies and that champagne will be flowing. Of course as this time of year can get very busy, a disclaimer was added … “we won’t judge for store-bought cookies” and it was signed “Hanukkah hugs and Christmas kisses from Rachael and Mary”. The only thing left to consider was what to make!

In the spirit of the holidays we decided to dip Double Stuf and Cool Mint Oreos in white chocolate (only about halfway) and top with crushed Candy Cane. They were a huge hit …
… as was the rest of the cookie selection. So many choices! People brought everything from double chocolate salted caramel to traditional chocolate chip. Our hostesses even made delicious cookies stuffed with pretzels and Reese’s Pieces. What a treat!
We love the way the girls set this table. Candy Canes galore, beautiful pink and red florals, and apothecary jars filled with chocolate really set the tone.
It is obvious that these ladies have also been to their fair share of holiday parties this season as these beautifully decorated gingerbread houses were on display for all to enjoy.
As promised, these festive favor bags were waiting for us as we prepared to leave. We packed them full of goodies and gave some “Christmas kisses” to our hosts on our way out the door. Overall, Mary and Rachael did such an amazing job and inspired us for something new to try next year. We hope that this holiday season offered lots of goodies and cheer to all of you as well! Merry Christmas to all of our readers from Side by Side Design.

Here at Side by Side Design, we are in the midst of holiday parties galore! In fact, we each attended three or four this past weekend and never like to go empty handed. During such a busy season, it is safe to say that time is of the essence and there is not a whole lot of time left for other holiday pastimes. Since it is our tradition that every year we make treats to pass out to our family, friends, and co-workers, we set aside one day to make enough treats to pass out for the whole holiday season. 

“Mix” is back by popular demand! We know our friends and family are excited that this tradition is continuing as they tend to ask for it by name and get huge smiles on their faces when they receive their bag each year. This is definitely not the first time “mix” has made an appearance on our blog (as you can see on our previous posts, In the “Mix” and A Little Surprise For Your Hotel Guests). We add mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, and crushed candy cane to a sweet Chex mix and pretzel sticks combination for the holidays. 
We added a bit of personal flair to each mix bag through our homemade tags. Each one of a kind tag was made with pattern, texture, and a little shine. This year’s Fall inspired color scheme consists of lots of gold and pops of cranberry, turquoise, and tangerine. Presentation is key!
The recipient’s names were added to the back in a fun font with love from SbS Design.
A brown paper bag and a little burlap string finishes off the look and does not compete with the tag’s pop of color. We added mini candy canes as well for a festive touch. Having these bags prepared in advance made it easy for us to grab on the go before each party or event.
In addition to treat bags this year, we also passed out baskets full of fruit, nuts, and cheeses to some on our list.
Personalized cards were made in the same color scheme as our tags to complete the look.
A simple gold initial was placed on each card to keep them consistent. As the holiday season began so early this year, we were inspired by Fall colors and themes in our card design.
When preparing treats for your loved ones, go with one concept and overall look. Baskets with cards and treats with tags are great for everybody on your list, and with a little love and attention to detail can look pretty too.

By now you may have noticed that we are completely obsessed with s’mores. In fact, we have created many different types of s’mores treats in the past (seen here and here). Although the mix of graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow tends to remind us of Summer time, it is especially delicious in the Winter with a steaming mug of hot cocoa. This season, we have decided to take a different turn on the usual s’more using Winter’s color … white. We even added a special ingredient to enhance the flavor. Keep reading to enjoy the recipe for our very own white pudding s’mores cups.

The ingredients include: individual plastic cups or shot size glasses, graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, and vanilla pudding.
Making white pudding s’mores cups is easy. Just follow these five quick steps:
1. Crush graham crackers into a crumble and use to create a layer at the bottom of the cup.
2. Mix vanilla pudding with white chocolate chips and add as the second layer.
3. Add a spoonful of marshmallow fluff as the top layer.
4. Top with a mini marshmallow or two.
5. Enjoy (and trust us, you will)!
With all of the holiday parties you are undoubtedly attending right now, why not use this recipe to bring a fun seasonal treat along or add it to your party’s menu. Having guests bring a treat to a party you are throwing is a great way to get new ideas as well. Either way, sweets are always a good way to go! 

We want to talk to you today about the main event at any holiday party … the white elephant gift exchange. We seem to be going to more and more gatherings that include some sort of gift exchange and we love it! It’s a great way to lighten the mood, get people talking and interacting, and maybe even create a laugh or two. Although every event is different and has its own unique atmosphere, this game is generally played the same way and is fun wherever you go.

For those of you who have never played or need a refresher, it goes like this (or at least this is how we play): Each guest brings a wrapped gift to the party. Usually the host will set a price not to exceed and to set the tone. For example, in our Craft Club event we asked participants to bring a $10 – $15 gift consisting of craft supplies. The gifts are then placed all in one area, and everyone chooses a number based on how many people or gifts there are. The first person chooses a gift and unwraps it. The second person and everyone after has the option to either open a new gift or steal one that has been previously opened. The only catch is that once it has been stolen twice, it cannot be stolen again. We have put together a few tips and tricks from this season’s holiday parties to ensure that you not only bring the right gift but return home with the right one as well.

Tips from Tami and Lauren:

Tip #1- Know your audience. This gift would be perfect for “the entertainer” in the group.
Tip #2 – There’s sure to be a dog lover in any large group. A themed gift may not be perfect for all, but will catch the eye of one lucky recipient who will definitely snatch it up.
Tip #3 – This gift is for a small group of girls with the same interest … in this case crafting. For a regular all girl’s party, you might want to consider fashion or home accessories.
Tip #4 – It could be fun to tell all your guests to bring either gag gifts or something re-gifted as the theme of your white elephant exchange. This will really bring your game to a whole new level. For example, we know of a group of friends who keep bringing back the same hat year after year to their annual holiday party. We also spoke to one creative guest at a different party who said that last year they brought $20 in pennies and $5 in scratchers asking the recipient to use a penny to scratch the ticket and share their winnings. In any case, being creative will always pay off.

Tip #5 – How many of you remember being the last one chosen in school for that big (insert sport here) game? Avoid that feeling with your white elephant gift by making sure it is wrapped to the nines. Use bright colors, big bows, and fun patterns to help your gift stand out.

Tip #6 – There’s also a trick to choosing the right gift. Look for gifts in small neatly wrapped packages. If they put thought into the wrapping, they probably put thought into the contents as well. Just because it’s wrapped in a Lululemon bag doesn’t mean you will be taking home a new pair of work out pants though … don’t be deceived, things are not always as they seem.
Tip #7: It’s always best to be in the middle of the picking order (although this is not something you can control). This way there are plenty of gifts to steal and not tons that are frozen yet. We don’t necessarily suggest working together with other guests to try and get what you want. This strategy (although effective) may cause others to gang up on you and you may not get invited to next year’s party.
In the end, the game is usually more enjoyable than the actual gift that you receive. This holiday season is not over yet. Let us know if you happen to use these tips in attending your own parties. As for us, we still have a few more to go. Wish us luck … and who named it “white elephant” anyway?