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These Food Stars are Sharing the Secret Recipe for a Killer Cocktail Party

Food mavens and culinary masterminds are just a few of the ways to describe these all stars. Ayesha Curry of Food Network fame and Amanda Haas, culinary director of Williams Sonoma joined creative forces with Sunset magazine to bring you the 5 step process to throwing a killer cocktail party. And if we had to add a sixth tip, it would most certainly be don a ridiculously cute skirt. Get the scoop on mastering the art of stress-free cocktailing, plus a tried and true recipe coming up next!

the Recipe for a Killer Cocktail Party

Set a schedule

“Draw up a list of tasks and add how much time each will take, so you leave enough time to do everything,” urges Amanda. “On party day, add time to nap.”

Loosen up

“Include a personal touch so people know you’re not taking entertaining too seriously,” says Amanda. Her suggestion: kid-drawn recipe labels or nametags.

Make a mocktail

Ayesha always makes a festive, nonalcoholic sip. “I have kids! And a lot of pregnant friends,” she says. “Substituting the alcohol with a refreshing fruit purée and a touch of fizz makes all the difference.”

Make cooking part of the fun

Get your guests involved in the cooking, like making biscuits, suggests Ayesha. “I like getting people’s hands dirty.”

Deputize a DJ

For music, “delegate to a friend who’s a music fanatic and ask for fun, festive, and upbeat,” says Amanda. “When in doubt … Adele!” adds Ayesha.

Signature Cocktails for Autumn Affairs
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Signature Cocktails for Autumn Affairs
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Photography: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine | Original Story: Sunset Magazine

Your Guide to Achieving that Natural Looking Hair Color… At Home!

We all want beautiful, natural looking hair color. That’s a universal need, want, gotta have. But figuring out just how to achieve that “I was born this way” look from the comfort of your very own home? Another story completely. Which is why we’re teaming up with the hair geniuses at Clairol to talk all things Nice’n Easy. It’s color that is crazy simple to use and available in a variety of gorgeous shades at Walmart. From masking those pesky grays to seasonal color updates, get the low-down for how to achieve your best color yet below!

Clairol Nice'n Easy
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Clairol Nice'n Easy
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Whether you’re preparing for your next great date night, a walk down the aisle or just want to rock a gorgeous style every. single. day. of the year, Clairol Nice’n Easy is your ticket to a stunning hair refresh. The best part? Finding your natural match is as easy as a flip of those locks with almost every shade imaginable, available at Walmart. And with the money you save, you can go ahead and splurge on that statement bag you’ve been drooling over. So what are you waiting for? This most definitely isn’t your mother’s boxed color, beauties.

Photography: Jose VillaKT Merry Photography + Koman Fine Art Photography

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This Fashion Blogger’s Home Office Could Double as a Dream Closet

You know you’re a fashion blogger when your office chair is the prettiest mix of blush and gold, your heel collection greets guests at the door and your business books include The Little Dictionary of Fashion. It’s all in a days work for Ashley of The Style Editrix. Her newly revamped office space is what walk-in closet dreams are made of. Take a peek inside her blogging HQ with images by Nina Suh.

After blogging from the couch and dining room table at home for the past three years, I am so thrilled to finally have a beautiful office that I can call my own! We bought a new house last year right before we had a baby, and our goal was to turn the guest room into my office.

Since my mom came to stay with us for a few months to help with the baby, my project was delayed, and nothing happens quickly with a new baby at home anyway!

Slowly but surely, for the past few months I have been gathering all of my little knick-knacks that I had accumulated over the years, and started ordering new things, like a desk and chair, to finally create my dream office and work space!

I would describe my office as bright, feminine, luxe and comfortable! I wanted to make use of the white walls and just add a bunch colorful accessories and little gold items. I loved the idea of a white desk and a pink leather chair with a gold base. So chic!

I was also lucky to find Framebridge, who framed all of my art for me to make my gallery wall that I have been dreaming up for years. The prints have been ones I have collected over time knowing I wanted to eventually have a beautiful wall to display all of them on.

The most important thing about having my own beautiful space, is it inspires me to create better and prettier content! Especially now that I have the baby at home (he’s with the nanny when I work), it’s great to be able to shut myself away in my office for a few hours a day and really focus on work and get my creative juices flowing. It is also nice to have a dedicated place to work on my projects and film my videos.

Peek Inside 40 Real Homes of Our Favorite It Girls
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Peek Inside 40 Real Homes of Our Favorite It Girls
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Photographer: Nina Suh | Book: Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life | Book: The Little Dictionary of Fashion | Candle: J. Crew | Desk Knobs: Anthropologie | Hats: Janessa Leone | Hourglass: Anthropologie | Indigo Pillow: St. Frank | Knitted Pouf: CB2 | Lifestyle Blogger: The Style Editrix | Maison Noir Candle: Voluspa | Pencil Holder: J. Crew | Photo Corkboard: J. Crew | Picture Frames: Framebridge | Pink and Gold Desk Chair: Land of Nod | Pink and Gold Pillow: Anthropologie | Rug: RugsUsa | Snail Mail Letter Opener: Anthropologie | Throw Blanket: Missoni