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February 11, 2014
DIY Valentine’s Decor & Cupcakes

DIY, gold hearts, valentine's day

valentine's, DIY, doughnut cupcakes

DIY, valentine's cupcakes

DIY Gold Hearts &  French Kiss Cocktail (Caitlin, Style Within Reach) // Valentine’s Day Doughnut Cupcakes (Kailley, Kailley’s Kitchen)


I don’t know about you guys, but holidays can be so intimidating! I am such a planner that I really get caught up trying to make sure every detail is perfect. I think Valentine’s Day is no different and for most is actually more pressure than other real holidays. Luckily, I’ve called on two friends to give some suggestions of how to make this Valentine’s Day a cute and simple night in for you and your special someone!

O N   T H E   M E N U

French Kiss Cocktails

DIY Gold Heart Stirrers

Walnut Encrusted Honey Dijon Salmon

Doughnut Cupcakes

Sorbet on the side (also used for your cocktails)


I had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin Moran a few years ago in New York when I was there for Fashion Week. Among other amazing bloggers I met that year, she was someone I so admired for her creativity, keen eye for styling, and was just always so great to be around. I’ve been so thrilled to see her grow her career at Glitter Guide (she’s the Editorial Director over there!) and with her own blog, Style Within Reach. She knocks it out of the park every time with her styling and especially when it comes to entertaining. The tablescapes and holiday ideas Caitlin comes up with are beyond adorable. I appreciate that her ideas are fun and cute but also relatively simple. As a softcore DIY-er I really need a project to be less intimidating and Cait is the best at those!

I asked her for some of her favorite Valentine’s Day DIY ideas and I loved what she came up with: the DIY little gold hearts are so simple and easy especially if you can find cute straws like these as the base. I actually have some gray and white striped ones that I keep in our bar area for quick crafts and to make a last minute cocktail party more fun!

I also am so excited to try the French Kiss cocktail that she created. We’ve been having a lot of champagne and sparkling wine in our apartment these days. Sorbet is also a great and healthier sweet treat that you can keep in the freezer and add in to quickly sweeten your cocktail a bit — if you’re having dinner in this Friday night it would easily serve a double purpose as dessert!

Kailley is the voice behind Kailley’s Kitchen and another Windy City Blogger that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a bit virtually through our Windy City Blogger Collective. I knew we would be friends when I realized we shared a common love for sprinkles and sweets! She also writes for Thrillist and is mean in the kitchen – have you seen her site? Her recipes are bomb and her photos are gorgeous. I know I’ve shared with you guys before but I’m still learning my way to becoming a better chef and baker, and I really enjoy Kailley’s recipes. I’m most excited to take my repeated salmon recipes and throw them out the window to try this walnut honey dijon salmon of hers. When I first saw her doughnut cupcake recipe I thought… she’s a genius. Doughnuts AND cupcakes? Sold! I love the twist on a traditional cupcake and think it’s a great dessert that you could even make and take into your office to surprise your co-workers.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Don’t have any yet? Great! Me too :)

Hope your week is off to a fantastic start!

P.S. – Have you entered the Je T’aime sweater giveaway going on this week? There’s an adorable Je T’aime sweater with your name on it! Pop on over to the last post to enter before it ends on Friday!


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