Guest Blog: Sabrina Soto’s New Year’s Eve Party Tips

December 28, 2011 at 8:00 am , by

Sabrina Soto is Target’s Style Expert for Home and the host of HGTV’s The High/Low Project. Check out her tips for setting a chic and festive mood to ring in the New Year.

I love New Year’s Eve! When I plan a party, I always make sure to create a welcoming setting where guests will feel comfortable. I also repurpose items I already have on hand to make the most of my budget, which totally makes it possible to throw a glamorous New Year’s party on a dime. Here’s how:

1. Accessorize affordably. New Year’s Eve supplies are easy to find at affordable stores. Look for small touches and metallic accessories that will bring the chic quotient up a few notches and complement your everyday décor.

2. Don’t forget the essentials. Every New Year’s party should have:

Stainless steel ice bucket, $24.99 at Target

• A punch bowl to serve up a signature cocktail

• A beverage tub to keep the bubbly chilled all the night

• A mirrored tray to help present treats like finger foods

• A mirrored ball that sets the mood

3. Put out a buffet. A mix of hot-and-cold finger foods on tiered trays and cake stands will give your table some dimension. Bonus: When you’re not tied up in the kitchen, you’ll have time to work the room and welcome guests as they arrive. Read more

Flameless Candles Rock

May 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm , by

img80mOkay, so I know this isn’t the newest tip in town, but I’m glowing with excitement over my new flameless candles. I had heard of the battery operated tea lights (fabulous for parties and romantic dinners by the way) but didn’t realize that you could pick these flameless phenoms up in just about every shape and size. D’oh! I do love real candles, but these fabulous fakes will help you avoid blackened Hurricane glass (not cute) and potential hair-on-fire Michael Jackson moments (true story involving a sconce and a tall person). Pottery Barn’s wax versions, pictured above, feature a five-hour timer function and a realistic amber flicker to mimic the light of a real candle. Check out for scented options.

Host a Give Back Get-together for Haiti

January 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm , by

mark__0123One thing people seem to agree on these days is that Haiti needs our help—why not make the focus of your next dinner party an opportunity to do just that? Lifestyle Expert Mark Addison has some great ideas on how to pull it off.

1. Just serve water in recognition that 90 percent of the population of Haiti don’t have clean drinking water. Donate what you would have spent on beverages to a relief-based charity. PSI Safe Drinking Water Fund

2. Ask guests to bring a donated item from a list of needs (found UNICEF and Gifts That Give Back).

3. Only use items you have around the house for your party donate the money you would have spent to a Haiti Relief Fund, like the one set up by The Red Cross.

4. Find a local or national organization willing to ship or transport your collected items, like  Artists for Peace and Justice.

5. Or try hosting a care package party where guests prepare boxes of goods to be sent to victims.

Categories: Do Good, Home | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Host a Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Bash

December 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm , by

image001Don’t welcome the New Year in a crowded bar with an overpriced drink in hand—instead host a New Year’s Eve Party in the comfort of your own home! To help you throw a festive celebration that’s easy to pull off, HGTV’s Design on a Dime host Kristan Cunningham answers some of our staffers’ New Year’s Eve questions.


LHJ: What’s the best number of guests to invite for a fun but not overwhelming gathering?

KC: 20 is a manageable number to seat, feed, and have drinks on hand for (without remortgaging your home) but it’s also enough people to keep the party interesting. It’s also an easy number for the hostess to handle. You can work the room and make sure that each of your guests gets some face time without it feeling like speed dating!

LHJ: Can you get away with asking for potluck? Is it cool to assign people to bring a specific dish or type of wine?

KC: You can absolutely do potluck, and this is obviously a great way to cut down on your overall costs. But with all of the responsibilities you already have on your plate, don’t take on the headache of trying to wrangle and coordinate this aspect. Leave it to your guests!

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