Guest Blog: Friendsgiving Swoo-torial

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Two weeks ago I was asked to teach some tips for hosting Friendsgiving at Swoozie's in Buckhead. I absolutely adore all things Swoozie's and I was so excited to host an event with this talented team.  I love a pop in to this fabulous shop whenever I have time.  They literally have everything you need for gifts and hosting and when you leave you have a pep in your step and a wrapped gift ready to give.

What more would you need?

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It was such a fun evening.  Surrounded by such fun and lovely women I talked about my love for entertaining and hosting.  I shared some tips to keep it simple and to hopefully alleviate the stress of having people over and allow you to truly enjoy the people you have chosen to include.

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First and foremost, as always, I suggest having a Signature Cocktail prepared to get them started for the evening.  Setting the bar cart with a drink and a snack or two is my favorite way to greet guests.  It frees you up to greet all of your guests and allows them to serve themselves when they arrive.  Just set it up, point them in the right direction and let the magic begin.

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Our drink for the evening was a fall punch I mixed and served from my vintage punch bowl.  I am a huge proponent of serving (and enjoying) punch!  It is easy to make and when served with an ice ring makes such an impression.  Using Cathead Pecan Vodka as a base I mixed in a berry juice, ginger beer and sparkling soda for a delicious result that wasn't too heavy or spicy but just right for the chilly evening.  The ice ring made it fabulous with sliced lemons, cranberries and rosemary sprigs.  It was truly delicious and only the fruit was left when the event was over.  I call that a #win.

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As they sipped and snacked I chatted about setting a table and some tips to make the evening stress free for the hostess.  I set the table with one of my favorite tablecloths and added this paper runner in green stripes for a wonderful mix of color.  I love blue + green together and it was the perfect backdrop for some blue and white pottery and fresh magnolia.  Easy, yet beautiful.  Add in a mix of my favorite gold bamboo flatware and plastic and some darling monogram napkins and you have the perfect table.

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The center of the table was left open for an appetizer on this darling board.  You can't see the personalization but it is monogrammed with Casa de Minear and will quickly become a favorite for me.  I love a good cheese board and this one with the handle and the marble is fabulous.  For the event we added two cheeses, a few crackers and some berries.  Easy appetizer to create and oh so yummy to devour. We added some bowls of my favorite cheese crisps and the combination of the appetizer and the little snacks are perfect to get the conversation flowing and give them a bite to tide them over until you serve dinner.

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The rest of the table was set with a mix of my everyday china and a set of these fabulous paper china plates.  They were so stunning in the grouping and I love the easy clean up that paper provides.  Why not make it easy on yourself and your guests?  I am completely up for all things paper when entertaining ... it truly makes all the difference and good paper and plastic products are worth the investment.  I love all things Sophistiplate.

One of my favorite elements of the table I set were the darling glasses I chose to use as the evening sursie.  Catstudio has the most darling glasses and Swoozie's carries the Atlanta and Georgia glasses and these were perfect for gifting.  I love to gift something to my guests that they will see and use and remember our time together.  I came home with one of each and seeing them reminds me of such a wonderful evening with new friends.

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Are you hosting Friendsgiving this year?  I have some tips to share above along with the recipe for my Fall Punch that might make your soireé easier.  I will be taking this delicious and easy punch to Blue Ridge for Thanksgiving with Lawyer's family and I know they will love it. It is truly so yummy and has a delicious combination of the spice pecan combined with the bite of ginger to make it absolutely perfect for fall!!

I will be popping up at Swoozie's again in December for a girls night in event and I would love to have you join me.  We had such a great turn out for this event and I know the next will be just as fun, especially since we will be playing Prosecco Pong and having bubbly from the Prosecco Bar I will be creating!

#can'twait!

Happy Monday!!

Never Show Up Empty Handed: Your Guide to Hostess Gifts for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is here and that means holiday PARTY season. Swoo Rule #1: Never show up empty handed. And by “not showing up empty handed” – we’re not saying you need to spend a ton of money on the gift – we just believe it’s a thoughtful gesture to give the host a little something to say thank you.

There are so many creative and personal ways to say thank you – without breaking the bank. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to say thank you this holiday season. 

Another tip: keep some go-to hostess gifts “on hand” for those impromptu occasions. We love fun tea towels or cocktail napkins that can double as fun conversation starters!

1. Initial wreath cutting board - $24.95

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This classic cutting board is not only stylish, but will definitely be put to good use. The initial gives it that personal touch. Pair it with their favorite cheese and crackers, so they can serve at the party! 

 

2. State Stemless Wine Guide - $5.95

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Whether you gift one, two or four, this gift is perfect to pair with a nice bottle of wine, fun cocktail napkins or bottle topper. It’s an exclusive gift they will rave over! 

 

3. Draper James Paper Coaster Set - set of 12, $20

Treat the hostess with the mostess with fun Southern-inspired accessories! We love these coasters by Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand. 

 

4. SCOUT Spirit Liftah Wine Bags - $7.50 

Raise her spirits with wine in a fun designer wine bag. Easy to store - these bags are great to keep on hand for those last-minute invites. Pair with their favorite wine, and it makes a perfect gift!

 

5. State / City Tea Towels - $21.95

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Landmark towels are great to celebrate places you are, places you’ve been and all the memories shared! Available in multiple states and cities to make it perfect for them!

 

6. Personalized Wooden Spoon - $19.95

Perfect for the hostess who loves to cook! Pair with your favorite recipe and maybe she’ll even make it for you! Add a recipe that they can try out! 

 

7. Organic Basil Grow Kit - $19.95 

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Perfect for indoor or outdoor use - this growing kit is the gift that keeps on giving!

8.Personalized Trivet - starting at $9.95

Available in 3 different sizes, this gift allows you to give a custom gift without the hefty price tag. Perfect for all your holiday events!

9.  Draper James Soap Set - set of 2 $20 

Impeccably blended with a high dose of Southern charm, this soap set comes in such beautiful packaging, you don’t even need to wrap! 

10. Personalized Govinos- $24.95

This shatterproof drinkware is one of our go-to gifts for every occasion! Add exclusive personalization to make your hostess feel special.

What’s your favorite hostess gift idea?

Cheers to the Holidays! Our Holiday Entertaining & Gift Guide is here!!

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‘Tis the season when the calendar begins to quickly fill up with holiday parties, family festivities and gatherings-galore with neighbors and friends. Between all the celebrations and occasions the season brings, we know the to-do and gift list can get long. We put together our annual Holiday Gift & Entertaining Guide with just this in mind – to help you check gifts off the list and provide entertaining inspiration.

We are kicking off the catalog with our favorite ways to add pizazz to the party. From festive entertaining ideas to dazzling party décor to celebratory hostess gifts, we hope they provide that extra-special touch to the occasion.

The Hot Holiday which includes our TOP 20 gift ideas and collections for everyone on your list – gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts for the entertaining, gifts for the friend who has everything, gifts for neighbors, teachers and coaches – we’ve got you covered! The guide is filled with 500+ gift ideas, seasonal collections and don’t miss our Designer brand stories & collections.

Whether you are shopping in one of our 10 locations across the country or joining the party online, we are dedicated to providing you with unique gift ideas and on-trend product; personalized options that set the standard; and, most importantly, outstanding customer care & exceptional experiences that reflect the Swoozie’s brand and spirit – because, we believe, every day is worth celebrating.

Wishing you a very merry & bright holiday season!

Check out our holiday hot list now! 

save 20% ONLINE & IN STORE during our pre-thanksgiving annual sale going on now!

USE CODE THANKFUL20!

Want to shop all of these gifts, click here. 

Ghoul’s Night Out Halloween Party!

Halloween is right around the corner! Check out this blog from, The Everyday Hostess, on how to plan the perfect ghoul's night out for the girls! 

Looking to host a spooktacular party this Halloween?! With the help of our dear friends at Swoozies, we’ve got you covered! We hosted the most adorable “Ghoul’s Night Out” party filled with some of our favorite decor and now have all the inspiration you need to host your own ghoulishly good time!

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With a black and white color palette and pops of orange, this festive set up was completely outfitted by Swoozies, which is the perfect one stop shop for all your holiday gatherings this year!

Enjoy!

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Happy Fall Y'all! Our Customer Appreciation Event is here!

Every year one of our primary collections is inspired by family & friends and this year we’ve kept it simple by naming the theme WELCOME. At its core, this collection is about the importance of gathering and celebrating life’s special occasions and celebrations with those you love. We believe in the art of the welcome – welcoming friends and family for large dinner parties or intimate gatherings – with open arms and special touches. We also believe in the art of the hostess gift to say “you’re welcome” whenever you are visiting another person’s home. “Never show up empty handed,” is what we like to say in the south. This collection is complete with our favorite hostess gift ideas and décor for your happy home.

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The catalog is packed full of 500+ entertaining and gifting ideas to get you through all the festivities the fall brings – and starts to get you ready for the holidays ahead with party ideas and decorating essentials. We can’t believe only 30+ days ‘til Halloween and 60 days until Thanksgiving!

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We hope you enjoy these collections as every season we focus on the principles we were built on - unique product offerings, standard-setting personalization options and outstanding customer care. We are so thankful for our loyal customers and so excited to meet new friends this season in our stores and our growing social community. Each and every customer is family to us and we can’t wait to WELCOME you in store or online this season.

To shop the catalog click here! Plus, Save 20% by using code CELEBRATE20 at checkout!

Let the season begin!

GUEST BLOG: The Scribble Studio - Solar Eclipse Soirée

Haven't we all wanted to throw a day party surrounded by endless moon and star décor? I know I have! This month's long-awaited solar eclipse gave me the perfect excuse to call on a few of my girlfriends, string up some gorgeous garlands, fill the tables with confetti and delectably curated confections, and unashamedly toss back a few day drinks. I know the solar eclipse isn't officially until August 21st, but since the event falls on a Monday, I thought a Saturday soirée was the perfect idea to get everyone even more stoked about the occasion while offering a little inspiration to those of you who are still planning! It all begins with details...

The Location

Since the whole party revolved around the idea of the solar eclipse, I decided from the beginning that the party had to be outside. I imagined somewhere simple, natural and a location that not many people knew about in order to create some excitement among the guests for getting to visit somewhere new. With this in mind, I knew the Sans Souci Community Garden in Greenville's quaint Sans Souci neighborhood would be the ideal spot. The grass was freshly cut, the veggies, flowers and herbs were abundantly blooming and it was a truly euphoric location.

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The Invitation

When I started planning the solar eclipse soirée, I knew invitations would be my first big impression on all my guests. So, with a simple idea in mind, I created the watercolor galaxy background and then added gilded gold hand-lettering to make it special. As if that wasn't enough, I shredded the sides of each invitation and hand-dipped it in 14-karat gold dust to give it a little something extra. Was it time-consuming? Sure. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The Decor

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The Party Cocktail

One of my favorite summer bevs is a Moscow Mule, so I decided to give it a twist to make it fit into the party theme. When creating this delicious concoction, I made a list of the ingredients that I thought would be delicious in the drink and what would make it somewhat different than your average mule. While ginger beer and bitters were still in the cards, I added a blueberry and lavender simple syrupinstead of lime or lime juice. I opted vodka over rum for the sake of everything blending together in a more graceful way. However, these weren't just any old brands of these products chosen to create this crazy drink. I hand-picked each component of this drink and they are all hand-crafted, small batch and small businesses that have an amazing product. Here's the recipe...

Moon + Stars Mule

Place 2-3 Lavender Infused Ice Cubes in Glass

Combine in a Shaker :

2 oz. Small Batch Vodka from St. Augustine Distillery

1 oz. Belvoir Fruit Farms Ginger Beer

1 oz. Sallie's Greatest Blueberry + Lavender Simple Syrup

2-3 drops of Fee Brothers Bitters

Shake accordingly

Pour over Lavender Ice Cubes

Garnish with a Lavender Sprig

The Table Accompaniments

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Finding food and beverages to accentuate the theme came as a super easy task because everyone I found had such great products. I knew I wanted a beverage nook with the featured party cocktail as an option, but I also wanted to have a few additional options available as well to accommodate the guests who wanted to indulge in a non-alcoholic beverage. This beverage nook sported everything from white wine to Belvoir's Ginger Beer to Sallie's Greatest Blueberry + Lavender simple syrup infused water and our featured Moon + Stars Mule. Amidst the gorgeous star plates, gilded napkins, pretty drink cups and confetti on the tables, we had overflowing buckets of Poppy Cotton Candy Hand-crafted Popcorncookies and cake pops from The Chocolate Moose and endless tiers of Malvi Mallows in dozens of different flavors. 

SHOP ALL OF THESE DECORATIONS & MORE ONLINE AT Swoozie's

Photos: Joanne Nguyen

Styling Right-Hand: Alex Finley

Nail Art: Raechel Ferguson

Cookies + Cake Pops: The Chocolate Moose

Popcorn: Poppy Hand-crafted Popcorn

Blueberry + Lavender Simple Syrup: Sallie's Greatest

Ginger Beer: Belvoir Fruit Farms

Mallows: Malvi Mallows

Invitations: The Scribble Studio

Event Location: Sans Souci Community Garden

Sugarfina: Candy + Cocktails - YES, Please!

The Swoo Crew loves a good cocktail, which is why we installed a mini-fridge to hold plenty of champs and rose’ for impromptu brainstorming sessions and photo shoots! More importantly, we love discovering new tasty cocktail recipes, particularly during this time of year when the weather is warm and cold cocktails can just hit the spot on a patio or at a party with friends. 

So, let’s just say, when we discovered our fav luxury candy brand, Sugarfina, their cocktail inspired candies were the perfect reason for us to get brainstorming {insert happy hour now!}. 

We set out on a mission to create tasty cocktails that could be paired with these cocktail gummies for the perfect duo to serve at your next adult celebration! We chose four of our favorites and best-selling flavors: Sugarfina’s Bourbon Bears, Rose’ Roses, Bubbly Bears and Peach Bellini, for inspiration to recreate yummy cocktails for your next occasion!

Keep reading how you can bring the WOW factor to your next celebration with delicious cocktails and oh-so irresistible gummies! 

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BOURBON OLD FASHION

Ingredients: 

4 dashes Angostura bitters

1 tsp sugar 

1 orange wheel 

1 splash club soda 

2 oz Bourbon of choice 

1. In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the bitters, sugar, orange wheel, cherry and a splash of soda.

2. Remove the orange rind, add the bourbon and fill with ice.

3. Garnish with a fresh orange wheel and cherry.

Pair with Sugarfina Bourbon Bears

This bourbon gummy is made the highly known, Blanton’s bourbon. The perfect treat for your southern gentlemen! To purchase, click here

 

PEACH BELLINI COCKTAIL

Ingredients: 

2 oz peach nectar 

1 Tbs fresh lemon 

1 oz peach snaps 

3 oz chilled champagne 

1/2 crushed ice 

1. Mix peach nectar, lemon juice, schnapps! 

2. Top with crushed ice 

3. Add bubbly! 

Pair with Sugarfina's Peach Bellini

These hearts taste like peach with a pucker! They included a juicy peach center and are dusted in sweet and sour crystals! To purchase, click here

TROPICAL FIZZ CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

Ingredients:

2 oz chilled champagne of choice 

1 oz pineapple juice 

1 oz coconut water 

Simple syrup / coconut flakes for rimming 

1. Rim glass with simple syrup and then dip into coconut flakes

2. Add pineapple juice and coconut water 

3. Top with bubbly! 

Pair with Sugarfina's Bubbly Bears

These champagne infused gummy bears are dusted in sweet and tart sugar crystal! Perfect for all the champagne lovers out there! Pair them with this tropical drink for the perfect summer bash! To purchase, click here. 

ROSE' SPRITZER

Ingredients:

3 oz Rose’ of choice

1/2 Tbs of simple syrup 

2 halved strawberries 

1 lemon wheel 

1 bottle club soda 

Garnish: 

Strawberries 

Mint Sprigs 

1. Muddle strawberries and lemon in stemless wine glass

2. Add simply syrup and rose’ wine 

3. Fill glass with ice and top with splash of soda water 

4. Add strawberry and mint sprig for garnish! 

Pair with Sugarfina's Sparkling Rose' Bears, Sugarfina's Baby Rose' Bears, or Sugarfina's Rose' all day

But first, rose’! These rosette-shaped gummies are infused with rose’ wine in every bit! 

We hope these cocktails + candies will name you hostess of the year! Click here to shop Sugarfina online now! 

GUEST BLOG: Cactus Fiesta Party

Is anyone as excited as we are to celebrate Cinco De Mayo this Friday?! We love any excuse to throw a good fiesta, so when our friend, Amy, of Amy’s Party Ideas decided to host a cactus-themed fiesta using our Fiesta Like There’s No Manana collection, we couldn’t wait to share with you.

Whether you’re planning to celebrate on Cinco de Mayo or are planning a Fiesta themed girls’ night out – read on for festive tips, tricks and inspiration!

Let’s fiesta!  I love any reason to eat tacos and celebrate, and on my last visit to Swoozie’s  I fell in love with their fiesta products!  This year for Cinco de Mayo, I am hosting a cactus themed fiesta and I can’t wait to show you how it all came together!  So grab a taco and some guac, and get planning! I will share more after the photos, and be sure to see my favorite products for your fiesta down below.  Live every day like it’s Taco Tuesday friends!

Set the tone for your celebration with a cactus themed invitation.  I adore this one from Swoozie’s!  I love to set the table for my friends and when you can keep food on the table, you spend less time in the kitchen and more time hanging with your friends.  And everyone can keep eating without having to get up to find more food.  When we are dining outdoors shatterproof glasses are a must, and these personalized govino glasses are just what is needed.  I love the palm leaf vinyl personalization too!

When planning my centerpiece, I let the food be the star and filled in with a floral arrangement I made using unique offerings from my local flower shop.  A cactus in an empty Mexican food can, and a really pretty cactus from the local big box hardware store add to our theme.

I just love the food truck centerpiece!  I decided to serve fresh fruit in paper cones on the top of the food truck. (A tip: I put ice cream cones in each paper cone to help keep the moisture from saturating the paper.) I served Mexican street corn on the bottom layer, and offered fresh limes as garnish for the corn on the middle layer.  A plate of fish tacos with honey lime cabbage slaw and fresh mango salsa added to the tablescape. And a bowl of fresh guacamole and tortilla chips rounded out our menu.

Mini pinatas make great favors and place cards complete each place setting.  A little humor is always fun.  I love the napkins that say “My head says GYM but my heart says TACOS”….seriously!  There is no shortage of witty products at Swoozie’s. Keep an ice bucket full of beverages nearby,  and vow to live every day like it’s Taco Tuesday my friends!

How are you planning to celebrate this year?  And what is your favorite Mexican food to eat?

GUEST BLOG: Every Gal’s Favorite Easter Basket

We love getting creative with Easter baskets! There are so many ways to make them extra special and perfectly personalized. Check out this video by one of our favorite bloggers, the everyday hostess, to see her top picks for putting together an oh-so amazing basket for the glamour girl.

For links to every item shown, see the description under the video! 

Easter is just around the corner, so you know what that means! Time to start decorating, picking out your favorite Easter recipes, and putting together your Easter baskets for your loved ones!

So often, we think only our littles would enjoy an Easter basket! I mean what else can you put in a basket besides our kids favorite, candy, toys, movies, and stuffed animals?! 

Well if you ask me, everyone deserves an Easter basket this year, no matter what age! You just need to be a little creative about what you put in it! To help spur a little creativity, Swoozies and I have partnered up and I have put together the perfect Easter basket for the 20 or 30 something year old gal! This basket is centered all around you and what the ladies want this year! So check it out!

Gold Leaf Plate: http://bit.ly/2oQVncl
Pineapple Cutting Board: http://bit.ly/2otGTD7
Pineapple Sipper: http://bit.ly/2otBQSM
Beverage Napkins : http://bit.ly/2otDcgp
Pineapple Wine Bottle Stopper: http://bit.ly/2otHlBq
Sugarfina cube: http://bit.ly/2o2nNmJ
Flamingo Beverage Float: http://bit.ly/2nORmpF

It's Our BirthYAY! Swoozie's Turned 16!

We love the arrival of spring for so many reasons, but first on the list is celebrating our Birthday! We are so thankful to our loyal customers because it is YOU who truly make this the Sweetest 16th Birthday.

To kick off our first catalog of the year, we are sharing some of our favorite party ideas for spring –whether planning your sister’s birthday party or hosting a casual dinner with friends, we hope these ideas and party essentials get you excited for all the celebrations and occasions spring brings.   

With the cold (hopefully) behind us, we’ve been dreaming of warm, sunny afternoons – which inspired many of the new entertaining collections! From Let’s Do Brunch to Cha Cha Cha, we’ve curated our favorite hostess gifts, party essentials, and the décor elements that really add the pizazz.

Spring break and travel is also on our mind! Check out our newest collection of fabulous bags & accessories, plenty of personalized gift ideas for your happy place, and our ‘must have’ items of the season – think round towels and pool float fun!

To wrap up the catalog, we put together our seasonal Things We Love list! We hope you enjoy and we can’t wait to Celebrate Everything with you this spring.

GUEST BLOG: Cookies & Cocoa Party | Swoozies Inspiration

No one does the holiday’s like Swoozie’s! That’s why we were so excited to see our friend, Adair Currie of Daring Details, blog of Dairing Events. share her holiday party inspiration that is perfect for the family and kids with the help of some of her favorite Swoozie’s decorating and party essentials! Keep reading on how she put together a perfect holiday Cookie & Cocoa party for the kids, with a couple of her own DIY gifting ideas!

Christmas and the holidays have a whole new meaning now that our Adair Lucille is running around, bursting with personality, and constantly getting into mischief. It has also inspired me to think outside the box when it comes to parties and decorations! Thankfully, Swoozies is my spirit animal store and had exactly what I was looking for this season. Vintage Blues, Pinks, and Greens, on tinsel trees have me bursting at the seams to create tablescapes that are kiddo friendly, while also keeping adults in mind. 

This is the first stop in our series, showcasing this tablescape, all the fixin's, and a few DIY gifting ideas from me and my creative friends! 

Thank you to Jenn Guthrie Photography for capturing all the whimsy holiday fun! 

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Want to host your very own Cookies and Cocoa Party? Olivia Grace Paperie and I have created all these printables for you to download for FREE!! Follow this link here:

DOWNLOAD FREE PRINTABLE 

Tip for printing: These are designed in landscape format, with standard 8.5x11 Letter size cardstock paper. You can adjust your printer settings to 'landscape' to ensure the file prints correctly. To print a specific page, download the PDF and choose the page number you would like to print in your printer settings. 

Swoozie's Top 100 Holiday Gifts

You make the list - we’ve got the gifts! We are so excited to share our TOP GIFT LIST of the Holiday Season! See the slide show below to shop some of our favorite picks! For more of our favorite holiday gifts of the season, check out our Holiday Gift Guide online now! {click here}

GUEST POST: FRIENDSGIVING WITH SWOOZIE'S

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's time for family and friends to get together! One of our favorite Bloggers and friend, Grace Lee, shows us how to host a perfect Friendsgiving with the help of some of her favorite Swoozie's decor!

Never in my college years have I ever hosted a Friendsgiving nor attended one before.

With that being said, my college housemates and I decided to host one for our last year together. Even though our actual Friendsgiving is tomorrow night, I teamed up with Swoozie's to share some holiday decor and inspiration for your Thanksgiving this year. Swoozie's has always been my go-to holiday shop because they always carry the cutest holiday items and they vary every year. 

I want to personally thank Swoozie's for helping me host my first Friendsgiving. I'm excited to be sharing all this wonderful decor with my closest friends tomorrow. 

Also, be sure to check out Swoozie's holiday catalog. There's tons of holiday decor for Christmas and New Year's and promo codes inside! 

here }

P.S. Swoozie's  is having their Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Event with 20% OFF until WEDNESDAY, NOV. 23.Use online code THANKFUL20 or mention in the store. You can find a Swoozie's near you by checking out their locations here

What are your favorite Swoozie's items?

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It's the Jolliest Time of the Year

The HOLIDAYS are HERE and we are excited to share with you our annual Holiday Gift & Entertaining Guide. We’ve filled the pages with our absolute favorite gifts along with entertaining ideas, because there’s nothing better than giving & gathering with family & friends during the holiday season. Our curated collections are here to inspire the perfect gifts for everyone on your list – gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts for the entertainer, gifts for the glam bestie, gifts for the teacher – we’ve got you covered!

To kick off the season, our gift to you is 20% off everything during our Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Sale. We know your lists are long with gifts to get and parties to plan, so we hope this helps get you started whether shopping in store or online!

It really is the JOLLIEST TIME OF YEAR and adding that extra special pizazz to every gift is what we really love! That’s why we offer complimentary gift wrap services, personalize gifts on-the-spot, and provide those special touches to really make the holidays special!

We wish you the happiest of holidays and most joyous new year, and we can’t wait to share this holiday with you. Also, don’t forget to tag us in your holiday photos and #ShowYourSwoo

We Are Celebrating!

What a month! We’ve always loved October and the celebrations (and weather) it brings – but this October was EXTRA celebratory as we hosted several amazing anniversary events! 

Both Palm Beach Gardens and Greensboro celebrated their 10 year, while Jacksonville celebrated their 1 year! The nights were filled with confetti, bubbly, some of our favorite local vendors and our amazing loyal customers! We couldn't have asked for some of the best nights!  Birmingham celebrated its 11 year so this was super fun to anniversary with local merchants from our 10 year anniversary celebration.

THANK YOU to our loyal Swoo customers and the official SWOO CREW! Thanks for being a part of our journey! Cheers to more celebrations and anniversary events.

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GUEST BLOG: Never Missing an Opportunity to Celebrate Every Day.

To me, there’s nothing better, nothing more rewarding, than inviting friends - new and old - into my home to celebrate life’s happenings. Hearing the lively chatter, seeing the backdrop of smiling faces, knowing they’re happy because they’ve taken time out to do what matter’s most - celebrate life – just makes my heart full.

Taking the time to have these moments of celebrations and enjoying friends and family is my wish for each of you as well. The Coton Colors brand promise of "never missing an opportunity to celebrate every day" isn't just a phrase to me, but a promise that I try to remember daily (even hourly!).

This ambitious mindset of enjoying the everyday celebrations and moments of happy has motivated Coton Colors to design products that help others join us in our celebratory mission. The Coton Colors Dining & Entertaining Collection is designed with just that in mind. Whether you are setting the table for a dinner party to celebrate a friend or sipping a cup of coffee from a stylish mug, just glad you woke up on the right side of the bed, they help elevate everyday moments with ease. And they look darling in your kitchen and around your home, too!

That’s why we are so excited to be launching the Coton Colors Dining & Entertaining collection in Swoozies stores and online! It's a perfect collision of Swoozies’ mission of “always keeping a little bag of confetti, just in case!” and Coton Colors celebratory mindset. Because you never know when you’ll need to toast to a new milestone or raise a glass because you reached the end of a work week. Because let's face it, today is another reason to celebrate, and that’s reason enough.

Cheers!

Laura

Turkey On The Table

In October of 2013, We had only known each other for 5 months when on our walks after school drop-off, the conversation naturally turned to the upcoming holidays. We talked about Halloween and that it's bigger than ever, and how it goes straight from Trick-or-Treating right into the lists of gifts our kids want for the December Holidays. Then one of us said "actually, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday", and the other one quickly replied "it's mine too!". The conversation snowballed into what Thanksgiving means to us - being surrounded by out family and friends, no gifts to exchange, and a huge feast of food made with love. Did we mention no gifts to exchange? We chatted about the fact that the older we get the more meaningful thanksgiving has been to us. Soaking up the time with our loved ones, and the indescribable feelings of the intangible blessings we have been given. We understood that it is what is meaningful to us, and wanted our kids to feel the same way. We asked each other how we could bring meaning and shed a little light on this Holiday that seems to be "forgotten".

In tandem with these conversations about Thanksgiving, were also the conversations about raising kids "these days". It's a different world from which each of us grew up. We shared stories about how each of out family had to make it through some difficult times when we grew up, and in contrast how our kids are exception smartphones by the 5th grade, wanting to wear the most name-brand athletic wear (in elementary school), and are experiencing vacations and travel we didn't experience until adulthood. It's not wrong - just different.We talked about ways we could instill a sense of gratitude in our kids, so they appreciate all of the things they already have, instead of focusing on all the things they don't. How can we give them a foundation of contentment so they appreciate the simple things in life, and recognize that the "extras" are just icing on the cake. 

After much research, we saw how much gratitude plays into a child's happiness; when you focus on the things you have instead of the things you don't, your whole view of the world shifts. In various research the practice of gratitude shows to improve health, grades in school, building relationships, and the way they face adversity. 

Why wouldn't we want to instill this in our children?! As parents, we spend so much time correction bad habits: biting nails, picking their nose, chewing with moth open, leaving the toilet seat up, etc. It feels so much better as a parent to help instill good habits. We believe that being grateful (the inner feeling of good things received) and thankful (outwardly showing appreciation for things) is one of the very best things we can teach our children. It costs so very little to instill gratitude, and it gives them so much. 

Think of all the time and money we spend on piano lessons, karate, tutors, and sports, if we could take part of that time to dedicate to children being thankful, they would see benefits with better grades, better health, less toxic emotions, and a happy heart. Isn't that what we want most for our children. We we're necessarily to start a business (we can barely take a shower and put on make-up most days), but we were looking to start teaching that habit of gratitude with to our children and help others to do so as well. 

Turkey on the Table was born our of love, the desire to spread thankfulness, the hope to give back, and wanting to share that with others. The Turkey on the Table Kit, includes an adorable knit turkey, a book, markets, and Thankful Feathers. The family activity begins with a featherless turkey, and each family member writes what they are thankful for on the Thankful Feathers, which are added to the turkey daily in November. The turkey is the "fully dressed" with thanks on Thanksgiving day. Not only does it help with your family, it also communicated the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. Through our partnership with Feeding America, we donate 1- meals to families in need for each turkey kit sold. 

After 26 days of Thankful Feathers (the daily log of their gratitude) the children will complete with our Turkey on the Table product, they will dig a little deeper on the things that are grateful for. It is easy to come up with one or two.. but by day 24 you will be surprised to see what they start coming up with!!

After Thanksgiving, we know that our children will not hesitate to state making thought christmas list with the newest XBOX games & hover boards, but maybe while doing so they will also be thankful for the warm bed they will sleep in that night! 

We are thankful to Swoozie's for their support and for all the meals they will help us provide by carrying out product. 

XOOX, 

April & Kerry

GUEST BLOG: Support St. Jude's Hospital with Coton Colors

This September, Coton Colors has really made a difference in supporting St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital. When asked to team up to help raise support, Swoozie’s was so excited to jump on board! The Happy Everything Inspire Mug not only is cute, but 100% of the retail price goes to St. Judes! It’s that amazing! Read on to learn more about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and how this mug is helping make an impact from the President of Coton Colors, Laura Johnson! #inspirehappy

September brings Childhood Cancer Awareness Month- a month so near and dear to my heart as Coton Colors supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through our Attached to a Cause program. Years ago, I was asked to design custom products for St. Jude to help provide inspiration and happiness to their supporters and patients. After being asked to lead art therapy workshops for their patients, attending the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Expo year after year and visiting and touring the hospital, my love for them has only grown deeper.  

The pieces we design for St. Jude are always some of our favorites to design each year. Not only do I love that every piece created is sold to bring awareness to St. Jude and the work that they do, but the products and designs are often inspired by the artwork of patients treated at St. Jude. That’s why this year, we were thrilled to design a product to raise awareness during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and share the impact St. Jude has on so many families. The entire retail price of this limited-edition mug will be donated directly to St. Jude.  Yes, you read that right. The ENTIRE retail cost! 

We get asked often, why St. Jude, and not other local hospitals. St. Jude is a hospital unlike any other. Families never receive a bill when their child is treated at St. Jude. Never, ever! Plus, treatments at St. Jude helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. And they won’t stop until there is no child who dies from cancer. With more than 75 percent of the budgeted costs for the hospital covered by public contributions, we ask that you join us in support of them with the purchase of this mug. 

We hope that this mug and the commitment that St. Jude has to ending childhood cancer inspires you to join us in supporting them to end the awful disease. Purchase your mug {or mugs!} today – and help us share a little happy with those who need it most. 

Cheers!

Laura

To purchase a Happy Everything Mug Click Here

GUEST BLOG: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy

It is with such great pride and honor to share with our readers this guest blog, Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy, from our dear friend, Emily Ley. Her NEW book (launching in October) Grace, Not Perfection is already on our must-read (and live by) list.

Not only will this book will be a revolution for so many women that can connect with Emily’s message, but this post alone will resonate. Emily wants every woman to know that it is okay not to be perfect, but instead be the woman that God created them to be - messy, broken, bruised, talented, tired, loved, and FREE. Keep reading to learn more about Grace, Not Perfection from Emily Ley herself! 

Ladies. Can we talk about something? Can we admit that none of us are doing life perfectly, with six-inch heels, homemade dinner on the table every night, and perfectly behaved children? Because from time to time, I feel like I’m the only woman whose life is a little bit of a circus. I often remind myself that social media is a highlight reel, but I still feel the ache of comparison as I try so hard to keep it together. As a consummate overachiever for years and years, I held myself to an unreachable standard of perfection. But, inevitably, in 2011 my overachiever buckled under the weight I’d asked her to carry for so long. I decided I was done trying to prove to the world that I, too, could “do it all.” Instead, I decided . . . 

I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

Goodness, there is so much freedom in that statement. It was a phrase I proclaimed to a friend while circling my living room with a newborn baby on one hip and a laptop on the other. And on that day, my soul was stirred in an enormous way. Why on earth had I been burning my time and giving myself the unnecessary pressure of trying to get it “right?” As they sometimes do, two wonderful things came out of that dark day in 2011. I created the Simplified Planner, a tool that empowers busy women with a fresh start every day. And I committed myself to a standard of grace. It’s a journey that finds me stumbling every day, but a Grace, Not Perfection standard is hopeful, free, nourishing, and achievable. I promise.

I began to explore what this idea of Grace, Not Perfection (GNP) meant as my business grew and, simultaneously, as my husband and I welcomed twins into our now-family-of-five. Life got much more complex and, while they brought more joy, these new additions also brought more stress and more reasons “to have it all together.” 

Cue the white flag. I am done messing with that kind of stress.

On my GNP journey, I’ve learned that organization, routine, and structure are wonderful and completely necessary, but they are far different than the ideals of perfection. Perfection is suffocating. Perfection is impossible. Perfection is unattainable. But structure is calm. Organization is attainable. Grace is the freedom and permission to be who we are – flawed, silly, imperfect, messy, and full of joy.

And I’ve put all the lessons I’ve learned on my five-year GNP journey into a new book. 

Grace, Not Perfection explores tactical, attainable ways to add routine, structure, and balance to your busy days. Throughout its fifteen chapters (with beautiful photographs, checklists, worksheets and more), we will explore what it means to embrace Grace with yourself, your people, and your calling. 

Life may not always be easy, but there is always joy to be found along the journey. Come on, sister – let’s find it together

SATURDAY DOWN SOUTH TAILGATE

We LOVE football season here at Swoozie’s and work all year on bringing you new exclusive items to make sure you have the BEST tailgate on campus! As soon as our collections were complete, we knew we needed to provide y’all with even more inspiration so we teamed up with our friend @amyspartyideas who is known for her over-the-top, oh-so-amazing tailgate spreads. 

When we got to collaborate with her on an Auburn set up, we were, needless to say, SO excited. Amy has the most creative and cute ways to plan any type of party and this tailgate spread delivers! We are excited to introduce her as a guest blogger with her guide to a Saturday Down South Tailgate! Read on and make sure to follow her tips and stock up on her favorite tailgate essentials to make sure yours is just as awesome!

Saturdays down South mean one thing….tailgates!  There is nothing more fun than spending the day gathered around a table full of food with your friends and family just hanging out in the beautiful weather, enjoying each other, and getting excited about the game!

It is even more fun when you get your guests in the game day spirit by going all out for your favorite team.  Shopping at Swoozie’s to grab their cute tailgate gear makes game day so much more festive.   To start, use a tablecloth in your team’s colors to set the scene.  Don’t overlook your closet, I love using my tiger scarf as a table topper.  Make sure you decorate your whole space.  Grab pillows and hang your team’s mascot on your door to get everyone excited.

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Custom napkins for your team are a fun touch!

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Don’t forget the football for those pickup games that keep the kids having fun throughout the day.

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Keep your foods simple and serve at least one healthy option to keep those calories in check throughout the season.  I love my acrylic tray to keep salsa from dripping all over my tablecloth.  Let’s face it, most of us just dip and eat…no plate needed.

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Keep your drink cold all day with your Corkcicle and make it personal with a fun saying to keep track of your cup!

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I just love my longitude latitude bucket!  I made it myself with a discounted bucket I picked up and my Silhouette machine. There are so many cute ones available now! And my favorite glasses are a must at the tailgate.  All of the landmarks and special places of my alma mater are represented which brings back great memories for me and my college roommate who we tailgate with each week.

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Keeping cute coozies on the table ensures that everyone’s drink will stay cool.  And let’s face it, the sentiment rings true for those of us down on the plains.  War Eagle!