Posted in Party

4 ways to reduce waste at your next dinner party

Four ways to reduce waste at your next dinner party
I love dinner parties. Despite not being much of a cook, I love to get friends over for a fun evening around the dinner table. Today’s post is written by Julia Spangler a Sustainable Events Consultant. She has some really helpful tips for reducing waste at your next dinner party AND she can also help you plan your next event! Go check out her website here
 4 ways to reduce waste at your next dinner party
There’s no shortage of convenience products designed to make home entertaining a breeze. Plastic-packed veggie trays, party cases of soda and beer, balloons and streamers for every occasion, even those ubiquitous red cups—rarely do we stop to think about the environmental impact of these festive items. 
The unfortunate reality is that celebrations often result in large amounts of waste. Waste has a wide range of negative impacts on the environment, from the energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions associated with its disposal—yes, even recycling uses a significant amount of energy and generates greenhouse gases—to the resources, pollution and emissions associated with the process of creating replacement items.
It may sound dire, but don’t fret! These simple tips will help you drastically reduce the amount of waste generated by your next soiree.

1. Ditch the disposables

Stick to reusable dishes, glassware and silverware, along with cloth napkins. If you don’t have enough of your everyday dishes for all of your guests, pick up some inexpensive extras at your local thrift store. You can store these extras away for your next party, and as an added bonus, the eclectic mix of glasses and dishes will help your guests tell them apart.
2. Get your growler on
Growlers are an excellent sustainable solution for serving beer. Not only do refillable growlers eliminate the waste from individual bottles and cans, but because you can typically only fill growlers at breweries, using them means you’re often supporting a local business as well. If you’re having a big celebration, ask your favorite brewery if they offer reusable kegs.
For non-beer drinkers, some states allow wineries to fill growlers, so find out what is available in your area.
3. Recyclable/reusable decorations
For the crafty among us, making party decorations is half the fun of throwing a shindig. However, keep in mind the recyclability and reusability of your creations. Avoid covering items with glitter and glue, as this renders them unrecyclable. Create any disposable items out of paper or cardboard—for example, with a home printer, you could easily create a paper banner with your own message by printing one letter on each page and cutting out a triangle shape. (Try printing on scrapbook paper for more festive flair!) Also consider decorations you could use for multiple occasions instead of one specific occasion or theme, or decorations you could give to a friend when you are done with them.
Be sure to avoid using balloons in your decorations, as they can be extremely harmful to wildlife if they escape into the environment.
4. Bulk up your snacks
If you want to have munchable snacks on hand, visit the bulk section of your local supermarket. Most large grocery stores now offer a variety of snack mixes, nuts, candy and other bulk snacks that you can purchase in reusable containers. Remember: when your bulk containers are empty, even if you use the plastic ones provided by the store, don’t throw them out! Rinse them and save them for your next trip.
Following these steps will help reduce the waste at your next party, so you can concentrate on having fun and not on taking out the trash!
Posted in Style

top 10 winter trends

Top 10 Winter Trends

About this point of the year I get really sick of everything winter. I hate all my sweaters, I hate wearing boots, I hate being cold (and on, and on, and on…). 

So today let’s channel our energy back to the end of August when we all couldn’t WAIT to pull on cozy sweaters, bundle up in scarves and stop sweating 24/7 and highlight the top 10 winter trends of all time!

Top 10 Winter Trends

1. Hats with poms

Nobody will know if you didn’t wash your hair and you’ll always be warm {and look super cute!} in hats with poms!

top 10 winter trends - hats with poms

{via pink pistachio

2. The blanket coat

I have a few extra large scarves (like this one) that are big and thick so I can wear them as a fashionable blanket coat. It works especially well when I’m indoors and cold without looking like I’m wearing a blanket!

top 10 winter trends - the blanket coat

{via happily grey}

2. Plaid anything

Tops, scarves, vest or jackets…I’m a big fan of plaid in the winter. It adds some fun to a dreary day!

 top 10 winter trends - plaid

 {via the daybook}

4. Pairing tough girl leather with soft knits

 Look extra chic when you pair your warm cozy knit scarves or hats with edgy leather 10 winter trends - leather + knit

{via the marcy stop}

5. Knee high boots in neutral colors

I have a pair of black knee high boots that get a ton of use in the winter. I love them more because they keep me warm when I’m wearing a skirt and tights than anything yet I always get compliments on them!

 knee high boots

{via style me perfect}

6. Vests of all kinds 

Vests are like scarves – they’re fashionable and add a bit of fun to any outfit yet they keep you extra warm! I have vests of all types – furry, puffy, knit and denim – they’re even a great transition piece in the fall and spring!

top 10 winter trends - vests

{via the teacher diva}

7. Oversized sweaters

Whenever I see someone in a cute oversized sweater I immediately want to switch places with them. You’ll look fashionable and chic when you pair your sweater with a dress or skinnies and a cute top, yet you’ll be cozy warm and comfortable without anyone really realizing! 

top 10 winter trends - oversized sweaters

{via clad & cloth}

8. All black

When I am especially over winter I go for all black. Mix different fabrics and textures to look stylish and not frumpy.

Feeling bold? Add a hot pink lip or bright scarf!

top 10 winter trends - all black

{via hardt shaped box}

9. Booties

Heeled booties have become a daily staple in my wardrobe. They make me feel a bit more put together in a simple jeans + sweater outfit yet I don’t go slipping around the ice on them! 

top 10 winter trends - booties

{how to wear booties tutorial here}

 10. Trench coats

Truth – I don’t own a trench coat. But I absolutely adore them. This may just be an end of the season purchase for me!

top 10 winter trends - trench coat

{source unknown}

Hopefully this round up keeps you inspired for a few more weeks of winter (or months…who knows what will happen in MN this year!).

Which one is your favorite? Which one do wear year after year after year? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Posted in Uncategorized

sharing my tribe – Kristi Waite

{A note from Jen} As I mentioned in the last guest blogger’s post, blogging, social media and running my own business allows me to meet some really amazing people! I have amazing {virtual} friends who are pros in photography, fitness, cooking, fashion, and even pregnancy and I’m excited to introduce you to these women.

Today, meet Kristi! Kristi blogs about life, style and Jesus over at Grace Supply Co and sends out monthly encouragement and Bible verses to your mailbox!! Y’all know my love for snail mail so I’m a huge fan of Kristi’s. :) Without further ado, let’s hear it from Kristi!

Kristi Waite, guest blogger rocking a boho top + skinny jeans

Well hey there, people! Don’t you ever just wonder why life can’t be simple? I guess that’s a dumb question, I’m sure we all have felt that way at some point. But seriously, for me it seems like every time I get on the right track, some obstacle comes out of nowhere and I’m right back to where I started. I don’t want to be right where I started, so I try to karate chop the obstacle and overcome it, which sometimes works and other times not so much (I guess I’m not as strong as I look, lol jk).

It’s hard to be thankful during rough patches and it’s even harder to understand what God’s plan is, especially when you feel like your life is just spiraling downward or maybe just standing still.

BUT what if life was simple? What if we all knew exactly how each day would go? There would be no obstacles to tackle, no lessons to be learned and not many instances to actually be grateful. I don’t think anyone would like that.

Life is scary and can be a little rocky at times, but those times makes us who we are, how we should treat others and how we want to live our life. We need those times.

coffee + bible + tall socks

I was reading a book called, “Jesus on Trial” and came across this quote by missionary E. Stanley Jones, “Take whatever happens, justice and injustice, pleasure and pain, compliment and criticism, take it up into the purpose of your life and make something out of it. Turn it into a testimony.” That’s some good stuff right there.

So many people have grown in their relationship with God solely due to their sufferings, me being one of them. Isn’t our relationship with the big man upstairs all that matters in the grand scheme of things? I think so.

So let’s keep on tackling those obstacles and heartaches, but let’s learn, grow and become real butt kickers in the process. Don’t get down and give up, you’re right where you need to be even if it doesn’t seem that way.

I like to think God put(s) me through trials because he not only wants me to rely soley on him, but he knows I can handle it and looks at me as someone who can possibly help another dealing with the same problem.

I bet he thinks the exact same about you too. Actually I know he does.

“Sometimes the good plan He has for our lives is to make us look more like Him, which takes pain” Jefferson Bethke.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Xoxo Kristi

Posted in Style

what I wore January edition

When I was working in Corporate America I used to snap a photo of my outfit a few days a week as a reference for outfit ideas for when I get in a style slump. It’s kinda like Pinterest for clothes you actually own! 😉

Now that I work from home I rarely take photos of my outfits so I’m constantly in a style slump. Enter in, a “What I Wore” blog post for each month of the year to help document my outfits more!

Since I just thought of this last week January only has a handful of pics…they’ll be more in future months! And you’ll get to see the bump growing as the photos progress…enjoy! (Maybe “get to” is the wrong word…have to? be forced to? you choose!)

Outfit one is my go to (boring though, which is why I’m doing this). Distressed denim + a simple tee.

Distressed denim, black v neck + puppy

In the winter I add cardigans to most outfits (sometimes 2 cardis on really cold days!).

Stripe top, grey cardigan + black skinnies. Dressing the baby bump.

My belly popped halfway through the month! Now I’m focusing in on fitted tees with something over it so I look pregnant and not like I ate a large Dairy Queen blizzard (which I probably did just eat). This style would work well even for all body types, not just pregnant ones! You can always swap a fitted top for a flowy top!

This long cardigan is quickly become my favorite piece in my wardrobe!

Long cardigan. Dressing the baby bump.

I don’t wear or own a lot of fitted tops so I’ve actually worn workout tops a few times when I go out. The fit tight to my belly and are really comfy since they stretch.

My casual outfit has the standard distressed denim with some sort of scarf (this is one I made a few years back!). 

grey + grey. scarf and sweatshirt with distressed denim + boots.

So there’s January! I promise February will have lots more photos, a larger bump and a better variety of outfits. 

Which one was your favorite?

Posted in For Fun

what’s in your bag – Rachel’s story!

I love customer’s testimonies about how they are using/styling their Paisley + Sparrow products. Last week I was tagged in a post about how a customer uses her make-up bag!

Here is her photo and her own words:

What's in your bag featuring Paisley + Sparrow cotton make up bag!

“What’s in your bag?

I’m always searching for a bag that’s both beautiful and functional. I got this beauty for myself as an early 35th birthday gift. I have managed to keep it somewhat organized for almost a month – that’s amazing for me.

I carry my wallet, a couple bars in case hunger strikes, and my most favorite tools for the grocery store with my toddler – Sharpies and a pad of paper. It keeps him entertained when the shopping trip gets long. I always have my Raven & Lily bag from @paisleyandsparrow for anything I don’t want the kids to easily find and a bag with my collection of lip accoutrements.

Sunglasses, diapers, and wipes finish up the lineup I manage to fit into this handbag. When the big kids join me I also throw in Epi pens, Benedryl, and Prednisone (the life of an allergy mom).

What’s in your bag?”

Thanks so much for sharing how you use your bag, Rachel!!  And seriously, this girl inspires me with are lipstick collection {as pictured below}. It puts my 3 lip colors to shame! I think we should have her do a lipstick tutorial someday, right friends?

Lipstick, lipstick, lipstick!

{photos via Rachel Glover}

Do YOU have a story about how you use your P+S products or love how one of your pieces looks with a certain outfit? Email us your pic + story or tag us on social media! You might be our next feature!

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Hi, I'm Jen! I'm the owner and founder of Paisley + Sparrow and am so glad you're here!