If you haven’t seen the new issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I have a fun, little story on how to throw a festive holiday fete with plenty of party flourishes to impress even your most finicky guests. It’s everything you need to throw a stylish holiday cocktail party with quick and easy crafts you can make yourself. My favorite? Festive stars made from drinking straws. I used them to embellish a punch bowl, but they’ll shine just as brightly on a tree.


If you’re long on style but short on time (anyone?), skip the hot hors d’oeuvres in favor of room-temperature foods. My go-to menu: herbed popcorn, spiced nuts, wontons, crudités and a cheese sampler that’s simple and chic.


Happy Hostessing, everyone!