In the first week of January, I shared a list of my 15 new year's resolutions for 2015. On that list, at number eleven, was "throw my best Oscar party yet."
Unfortunately, the odds were stacked against me. With the bitter cold temperatures, unrelenting snow fall and hellacious commutes we've had this month, I wasn't able to spend enough time hunting for the perfect decor for this soiree.
Adding insult to injury, in the two days before the viewing party, the guest list dwindled to less than half because my friends were anxious about being able to find parking on the street in their neighborhoods when they returned home Sunday night - a completely legitimate concern.
But, as the saying goes, the show must go on!
Despite the lack of prep time and the shrinking guest list, I still wanted to jazz up the place. After all, the Oscars only happen once a year.
I started at the front door with an oversized envelope that read "And the winner is . . ."
In the entryway, I set up a popcorn concession stand, complete with carnival-like red and white striped boxes. The popcorn boxes are from Party City and the popcorn itself came in a Valentine's Day gift package from The Popcorn Factory. Don't get excited, the package was from my grandmother.
Just a few minutes before the guests arrived, I snipped open each of the bags and the concession stand was open for business! We had plain, buttered, cheddar and chocolate covered popcorn.
Moving into the living room, I had sprinkled the ottoman tray with star shaped gold confetti.
For each girl, there was a cork coaster, dotted or striped with gold. I cannot for the life of me remember where these are from. I want to say J. Crew.
For movie candy, we had Reese's peanut butter cups (minis), chocolate covered Oreos (the best thing sold at T.J. Maxx) and Swedish Fish.
On the living room mantel, I knew I wanted to add a touch of glamour with candles. Earlier this month, my parents sent me a Valentine's Day package that included these rose shaped candles.
I took these tiny rose candles and dropped them into red votives.
I found these on super sale at Party City. I think the set of four red votives was $4 dollars. Ding, ding, ding, jackpot!
I loved the way the candles lit up the royal purple wall.
Over in the dining room, I was trying something totally new by decorating with poufs.
No matter what anyone tells you, those poufs are hard to make! They come very tightly pressed in an accordion shape and you have to fluff each sheet of tissue paper individually to get them to appear so light and airy. Never again.
Every time I entertain, I like to have fresh flowers in the mix. Sadly, the selection at my grocery store was pitiful. It was a challenge to even cherry pick these three individual stems.
Even though the floral choices were slim, this trio of roses actually wound up feeling quite elegant.
For our snacks, I put out these gold Kate Spade confetti napkins and a set of square plates, also from Party City. I like the unexpected surprise of a square plate.
I knew I wanted this fiesta to have a special libation. This drink was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.
I am so Type A that before taking this picture I turned each and every rock candy stick so it was leaning against the flute in exactly the same direction. Yup, it's a sickness.
A word to the wise: when you pour the Prosecco over the rock candy garnish, pour slowly. I was a bit overzealous and when the Prosecco hit the candy, a chemical reaction occurred that caused the glass to completely overflow.
The drink became this gorgeous pinkish/redish hue. This photo really doesn't do it justice. Also, careful of those wooden sticks. Mine kept poking me in the eye!
With most of the rooms in the house ready to go, there was only one spot left to decorate - the bathroom. You may recall me saying this in the past, but I learned from my party planning friend Dustin that every room in your home should get a makeover for a special event, even the bathroom.
I'm obsessed with these fancy napkins. The pattern is identical to lace.
Toilets are jokingly called "thrones" and with these fireworks, how could you not feel like royalty?
With the house transformed, at 6:00pm the ladies arrived and we were ready for some red carpet judging!
While we watched, my amazingly talented friend Stephanie cooked us dinner. I put out some appetizers to tide us over, but the main event was her truffle mac and cheese.
The combination of cheeses, mixed with truffle butter and mushrooms, and topped with Panko bread crumbs was sheer culinary perfection. I might have moaned.
If you'd like to prepare Chef Steph's mac and cheese, you can find the recipe here.
Now, every single year I always feel terrible when the end of the night rolls around and I want to send people home with food, but I have no Tupperware. Not this time, people! While at the grocery store earlier in the month, I spotted these Tupperware containers that were the ideal size for leftovers and had red lids!
After experiencing Stephanie's mind blowing mac, of course we all wanted to keep some. I was thrilled to finally be prepared with enough Tupperware for everyone.
All the girls headed home around 9:00pm and I stayed up to watch the end of the show. I have to say, I was really disappointed in Neil Patrick Harris' performance. I didn't find him funny or entertaining at all. Even his opening number felt flat. In fact, I think Jack Black was the star of that number.
I was also sad that "Boyhood" didn't win Best Picture, though I could tell they'd lost it once "Birdman" won for Director and Screenplay. I knew Best Picture couldn't be far behind.
With all the trophies handed out and Neil back home shaking his head, it's officially the end of the 2015 award season. Since this never-ending winter forces us to find things to look forward to, I'm now formally counting down to the premiere of "Pitch Perfect 2" on May 15th.