Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  Sifting through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I paused on Barefoot Contessa’s status update about her New Year’s Eve tradition.  Evidently, every year the infamous Food Network chef serves dinner at midnight.  Not one for lavish (chaotic) parties to mark the new year, I love the idea of having close friends over for a dinner party - something that I did last year, minus the brilliant idea to wait until midnight to dine.  Check out my NYE dinner tips here

II.  If you’re hosting a party and scrambling for last minute decor inspiration, look no farther - these DIY gold-dipped balloons are incredibly easy to make and couldn’t be more chic for ringing in 2014.  Simply order white helium balloons from your local grocery store, and brush on metallic paint starting at the base of the balloon and working your way halfway up in disheveled strokes.

III.  This year, I’m celebrating the new year in San Diego - which means that there won’t be any elaborate dinner parties.  Nevertheless, I will be making one of my favorite cakes for the festivities, chocolate with bittersweet chocolate buttercream.  This recipe is perfection on its own, but to up the ante, I added a layer of Nutella filling.  Pure decadence!

IV.  While time is running out to procure an entirely new ensemble for tomorrow evening, you still have ample opportunity to get glossy for the occasion.  New Year’s Eve is nothing if not sparkly, making it the ideal time to try a smoky eye using my favorite holiday secret weapon - MAC’s Nocturnals Pigment and Glitter Collection.  Warning: this isn’t the subtle shimmer that you’re used to, it actually looks like craft glitter - but it’s safe for your eyes.  To prevent the glitter from taking over your entire face, apply with a wet q-tip.

V.  My parting advice to you before 2014 has to do with an age-old problem known as the hangover…  I will admit that there have been a couple of times that I’ve been over-served and spent the next day paying for it.  To ensure that the first day of the new year is as much fun as the evening before, I will be following these genius tips on how to prevent and remedy hangovers.

Have a wonderful New Year!!  xx tt