How to Put Your Touch on Tailgating

It’s football season. Yay! We love us a competitive friendly sport and a good excuse to get friends together on a Sunday afternoon. But what happens when you don’t have tickets to the big game nor a backyard to BBQ {or you’re averse to freezing temperatures like me}?? You put together an amazing tailgate-inspired spread, indoors, of course! But this is no ordinary tailgate. We partnered with Smirnoff ICE to create our dream football watching party. So we’re ditching nachos for kale chips, upping the ante with some delicious cocktails {sorry, I just don’t do beer!}, and we’ve said so long to the same ole football paraphernalia for super chic modern party accessories. While hanging out in the parking lot with hot dogs sizzling is great fun, we promise hanging at home- a quieter approach to the ol’ tailgate madness- is just as entertaining- especially when it looks like this!

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To live out our ultimate football party, we teamed up with Jesi Haack Design who brought in party essentials that one might not immediately think of when talkin’ football. Just as impactful as a wedding or New Year’s Eve shindig, adding a backdrop to your party decor can have the same impact for game day. So don’t forget it! Ours is made out of different ribbons and paper streamers for fun texture and depth that we swear isn’t difficult to make on your own -even if it does look fancy! Best part is, make one in a neutral color palette and use it over and over again! We also added subtle hints at “pig skin” to our party buffet tablescape with leather accents and “football” shaped himmels in a glam bronze. Oh and don’t forget the flowers for a nice feminine factor! We’re taking football back from the boys with this party.

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Putting touchdown pieces in your place doesn’t require you to Go. All. The. Waayyyyy. You can totally score in the hostess department without bringing in 100 yards of astro turf. In fact, we’re all about the simple nods to the game that create a sophisticated yet fun atmosphere. For instance, ditch paper napkins and instead write up tricky football trivia on linen squares. Take turns quizzing friends in what we like to call, Cocktail Napkin Trivia! Not only is it a light hearted way to get excited about the game, they’re also act as a cute place to set your drink! On your serving platters, draft up “plays” in simple “x” and “o” form – we made ours on a slate platter with a chalk pen!

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Another easy DIY? Take blue masking tape and a marker and channel your ol’ varsity jacket. Jazz up paper bags with numbers and stripes then serve kale chips, popcorn, trail mix- whatever your snacking heart desires. Speaking of snacks, we have three foul-proof munchies that are healthy and delicious!

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Foul Proof Snacks:
– Kale chips {in cute paper bags, of course!}
– Roasted Beets Crostini with Burrata and mint
– Delicata Squash Rings with Ricotta, olive oil, thyme

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But it wouldn’t be a party without some tasty cocktails, would it?! You know we always have you covered. We love the idea of switching up the typical game-day booze selection with a fancier, feel good cocktail. So we put a grown-up twist on a tailgate staple: Smirnoff Ice! We created original cocktail recipes your guests can easily mix up themselves. We served ours in vintage crystal goblets {in opposing team colors, duh!} to really up the ante. Here are two recipes – one sweet and one tart – that’ll get the good times rollin’!

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Lemon Tart Touchdown 

1oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz orange vanilla liquor
8oz Smirnoff ICE Original

Add fresh Meyer lemon juice and all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a glass with ice. Use Meyer lemon peel for garnish.

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Pass The Peach Bellini

6 oz Smirnoff ICE Peach Bellini
4oz champagne
2 dashes bitters

Pour Smirnoff ICE Peach Bellini into a glass. Top with champagne. Add 2 dashes of bitters. Garnish with thyme sprig.

So next time you want to have a mellow football party at home, sans chewed up gum on your seats and sticky arena floors {we all need a break from the madness sometimes!}, keep these simple plays in mind. They are a sure win- touchdown!!

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // styling + food by Jesi Haack Design // glassware c/o Frances Lane // shot on location at LUX-SF 

This is a sponsored post by Smirnoff ICE.  All reviews/opinions expressed in this post are unbiased & based on my personal view. Drink responsibly.

Add Sparkle to Your Holiday Season with This Timeless Cuff

If there is ONE style rule we strongly encourage, it is that every woman should have a small collection of fine jewelry. Starting with a bracelet {since rings are a bit more personal and earrings get lost under pretty locks!}, these pieces should be special, crafted with precision and care, and be so simple and everlasting that she never wants to nor has to take it off.

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That’s exactly where Vrai and Oro comes in. A newly launched jewelry line run by two beautiful business savvy ladies, has found a way to offer fine jewelry that will last a lifetime, but doesn’t cost the arm you plan to wear it on! Vrai and Oro has eliminated the markups, bringing delicate pieces made of the highest quality materials {read gold & diamonds!} that can be worn everyday. So when we got the opportunity to dream up the most exquisite piece in our holiday boutique with a company we already own pieces from {and whom we’ve gushed over all year long!}, we took the chance to truly came up with something that we ourselves, would never, ever take off! And here she is:

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This amazing cuff is solid 14k yellow gold. That’s right, solid gold, people. This price for solid gold is unheard of! We really wanted a cuff that wouldn’t get in the way, so it’s nice and thin and hugs around the wrist just right. The tapered ends give it that slightly edgy touch while still staying true to its classic roots. And because we wanted to make you feel extra special while wearing it, we added two brilliant cut .03ct diamonds on either end. Just the right amount of subtle holiday sparkle!

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We are ob-sessed with this cuff. We worked with Vrai and Oro to get it just perfect- going through a couple of different steps of brainstorming and revision- really making the final piece not only beautiful, but timeless. We hope some of you lucky ladies will be able to don this truly remarkable gift on your wrist this holiday season! We’d love to see that it’s made someone’s smile a little brighter!

Remember, it’s an exclusive piece available in our shop here and only through the holidays! So we say, this Christmas treat yourself to something extra special. Or better yet, send the link to your husband/boyfriend/lover and remind him or her that EVERY woman deserves a little something sparkly to help ring in the new year!

images c/o Vrai and Oro // image 3 original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick 

Retail Therapy: {Le Labo, San Francisco}

You know us- we’re always on the hunt for new visual eye candy. That can sometime require a little manual labor…ok, by that we just really mean getting off our butts and out of the office,  but the effort is always totally worth it. One of our favorite things to do is to just walk a neighborhood to look at new window installations, check out the latest collections and  scope out any recent additions. Recently, Team Apartment 34 decided to take a trip Fillmore Street, to not only rejuvenate our minds, but also our senses!

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Amidst all of the beautifully decorated shops that line Fillmore, Le Labo, a boutique fragrance store, not only catches your eye with its gorgeous interior, but also lures you in nose first with the delicate blend of delicious smells. We’ve popped in and out of the store before, but this time we went with a mission of finding a signature Apartment 34 fragrance – that everyone on the team would love!

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Immediately walking into Le Labo, you’re met with sensory overload {in the best way possible!}. First the interiors- delicate bottles of tiny fragrances line the tin tile-covered walls {making up for a perfect #shelfie shot!} and the natural light by the window floods into the rustic chic but homey decor. Mixed materials, industrial lighting, a cardboard coffee table and the awesome campaign-esqe sofa are just the right mix of industrial charm and contemporary craftsmanship!

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Our main goal for the day was to pick out a signature Apartment 34 scent. We learned all about the intricate process behind Le Labo’s art of mixing fragrances- from the necessity of “human touch” behind the products {they pick each rose and hand pour each candle!}, down to the naturally compounded perfumes and individualized labeling that each customer receives. The label was the easy part- we’re packaging obsessed. But choosing a fragrance for one person is hard enough- so imagine the struggle we faced with an entire team- six different noses, trying to decide on a single favorite!

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Here’s what the tally came down to:

-We loved the Rose 31 {btw, the number indicates how many “ingredients” are in each fragrance}, a feminine-meets masculine scent named for- you guessed it- the Centifolia rose! Romantic and mysterious- it smells amazing.

Santal 33 is another one of Le Labo’s iconic scents and a major customer favorite. It was no wonder that we all gravitated towards this one. With notes of cardamom, iris, ambrox, sandalwood, we definitely felt the “American west” vibes.

Ylang 45 was a strong, darkly floral scent. We liked this one for its sharp, woodsy notes.

Pin 12 is a sophisticated and subtle blend of pine and amber – a perfect unisex fragrance.

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The verdict? We narrowed it down to the Santal 33 home candle and the Pin 12 fragrance. Being home decor obsessed, in the end, we found a way to get the best of both worlds- Pin 12 home scent– a light and woodsy breath of fresh air for any pillow or rug. We now keep it in the office and spray the sofa in our reading corner to refresh the air every time inspiration is getting stale and senses could use a re-boost!

Le Labo is the ultimate luxury, whether you’re treating your body or your home, it’s amazing how confident and sophisticated you’ll feel walking out of there with such a mature and luxurious scent on your skin. And if anyone ever tells you different, riddle them this: “Beware of those who have no weakness for women and perfumes.”

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick