Best Luxe Looks: Valentino’s Mirabilia Romae Haute Couture Show

Originally posted on The Luxe Lookbook:
Celebrating the heritage city of Valentino, the design house showed it’s haute couture collection entitled “Mirabilia Romae” in the Piazza Mignanelli of Rome today. The collection was stunning – full of classic silhouettes, sweeping gowns with gladiator panels, intricate lace, and guilded details reminiscent of Ancient Romanesque haute fashion. Absolutely divine.

3 MORE Simple Ways to Make Your 4TH of July Celebration Out of This World

Okay, so if you read my last post but you’re still struggling in terms of decorations for this last minute shindig, I’ve got you covered. In this post I’m going to cover three MORE ways you can turn your last minute party planning into the celebration of your dreams; home decor style! Amaze your parents, in-laws and the general population with your mad skills, while keeping to an extremely small budget. Let’s get started. Round two!

1: Let’s start big and work our way down, shall we?

If you’re like anyone else in this country, you’re probably throwing your party in the backyard, or at least at your local public park. Besides the sweets, everyone knows decorations are what’s going to separate you from the rest and may just save you from the unyielding stink eye of your evil mother in law.

Things to try: Painting or sifting stars into the grass.

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Box cutter or X-Acto knife (or a pair of scissors if you’re a klutz like me)
  • Flour or non-toxic spray paint
  • A wee bit of patience

Grab one of your old moving or grocery boxes, break out the box cutter or an x-acto knife and get to work. Cut out one or two different size five point stars (or six if you’re in the Halloween spirit already) and lay them at random points across the yard. Shop72 Cardboard and Box CutterNow, here’s where personal preference comes into play. You can either use cake flour and simply sift the stars into the cutouts but, this provides a bit of a mess to clean up later on because you’ll eventually have to sweep the flour up. (Or you can simply let it blow away, although I don’t know how your neighbors are going to feel about that.) Or you can go my personal favorite route and use non-toxic spray paint from your local hardware store. It’s a bit of a quicker job too, and you won’t have to worry about a mucky, flour-y mess if it decides to rain. Just make sure to remind the pets and the kids that eating spray painted grass isn’t a good idea. Once the stars are all painted (or sifted) into the grass, stand back and admire your spray painted yard The best part about this decorating tip is, you can pretty much leave it there all season long, or at least until the yard needs another trim. Every day is a Kids love Painted Lawn Starswonderful time to be patriotic. And, not to mention, the kids will absolutely love the look and feel of their starry new backyard. Just remember, this decorating tip is best used on freshly cut or low cut grass so, break out the mower before you start painting. And, non-toxic paint is an absolute MUST if you plan on having the kiddies and the pets on the lawn while the stars are there. We wouldn’t want anyone having an allergic reaction or needing a trip to the vet or the emergency room. This holiday is already packed with ER visits!

2. Place settings, place settings, dear lord you have to sit next to your aunt Fran who drools, don’t you?

Okay, so the 4th of July is technically a family holiday, wouldn’t you agree? You grab all of your relatives and force them into the back of a van, travel down to your nearest river front or city monument and watch thousands of dollars worth of fire works literally go up into smoke. But, before that, you have to feed them! Kill two birds with one stone and make your place settings brighter with this little tip.

Things to try: Including boxes of sparklers with each set of silver wear at the table.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper plates or dining utensils of your choice
  • Silver or plasticware
  • Boxes of sparklers
  • Red, white and blue ribbons
  • Place mats of your choice

Grab your place mats and spread them evenly on your table. Make sure your table cloth and place mats coordinate. Grab something in the patriotic red, white and blue, Sparklers place settingand use your best plasticware if you’re not a fan of taking grandma’s fine China into the backyard. Then, simply apply a ribbon to your napkin, sparklers and utensils to add to the center of the plate. Add streamers to the places for an extra touch of festiveness. This simplistic idea will be great for yourShop72 sparklers 4th of July Belleville guests of any age. After they’ve finished dinner and they’re looking to have a little fun, just provide a lighter (to the adults) or hand out the matches to those old enough to operate them for a glittery good time. Just don’t forget to properly dispose of those little burnt ends so that the pets don’t get ahold of them. I can’t stress this enough!

3. Star spangled tea light candle holders!

After the fireworks display is over and you’ve shuffled the kids off to bed, it’s about time for the grown-up fun to begin. The 4th of July is a great occasion to get together with your special someone and cuddle underneath the moonlight. Break out the drinks of your choice and the finger-foods and kick back with your sweetheart, bathed in the glow of this next little tip.

Things to try: Tape a some cut out stars on an old mason jar and pop a tea light candle inside.

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jars (it’s okay if they don’t have lids
  • Masking tape (or star shaped stickers)
  • Scissors or X-Acto knife
  • Spray paint in your patriotic color of choice
  • Candles
  • Patience

Grab your masking or painters tape (or a kiddy star shaped sticker book if you’re particularly strapped for time) and carefully cut out a bunch of tiny star shapes. Or, if you’re feeling particularly flirty, cut out little hearts. Add them to your mason jars, cover the tops with the lids or a piece of cardboard, and hit them with a couple Star spangled tea light candle holdercoats of red, blue or even white spray paint. Try to keep it between three and four coats because you want the glow of the candle to illuminate the area. Let the jar dry between coats then, if you star spangled mason jar tea light candle holderscan, clean up any paint drips or streaking with a small paint brush. This step is optional and purely for the perfectionists out there. Once it’s completely dry, peel off the star shaped tape or stickers to reveal the perfectly star shaped empty spaces left behind. Pop a tea light candle inside and give it a light. Or, if you’re worried about the candle going out and having to relight it, pick up a pack of cheap, battery operated candles from the dollar store, turn them on and let them glow all night long. The ending result is more than worth it. For a stronger effect, make sure you place them away from brighter light sources such as porch or spot lights. If you go the battery operated fought, they make a great night light for the kids after the adults are done having all the fun with them. The great part about this little tip is that it’s a project that can be used again and again with different outcomes. Try hearts or little dinosaurs next time, or, use a sparkly glitter spray paint so it sparkles in the daylight, even when the candle’s not lit or turned on!

Don’t forget to show your patriotism by flying an authentic American Flag at your party! The American flag is the ultimate symbol of freedom and is a testament to all those we celebrate and remember on this day. Happy Independence Day from all of us here at!

Shop72 American Flag

3 Simple Ways to Make Your 4TH of July Celebration Out of This World!

Okay, so, the family is flying in Wednesday, the kids are confirmed to be out of school on the third, and your boss is breathing down your neck about getting those reports in before the weekend. It’s officially last minute party planning time if you’re going to have anything at all ready for the 4th of July holiday. What do you do? Well, you start by reading blog posts like this one about last minute party planning of course! I’ve collected three last minute Fourth of July food decorating tips that will take what you’re throwing together to the next level. Let’s dive in.

1: Desert is literally EVERYTHING

If you don’t have plans for at least a great desert, you’re way behind. The sweets, popsicles, candies and food coloring filled cake is the centerpiece to any 4th of July shindig. If you’re doing this as a last minute, day before the in-laws arrive type thing, you’re going to need all the help you can get, on the cheap, with minimal time and effort spent doing it.

Things to try: Dip waffle or sugar cones in candy melts or cake frosting then dip them in red, white and blue sprinkles.

What you’ll need:

  • Waffle cones or Sugar cones
  • Candy melts or cake icing
  • Sprinkles in patriotic colors

Fix enough of them and you’re on your way to having a great centerpiece for the sweets and desert bar no one knows you thought Shop72 fourth of July sugar conesof the night before! Serve them with the ice cream of your choice, but make sure you don’t set out the sweet stuff before the guests arrive. The only thing worse than a hot, sticky, day is melted, runny ice cream. Think of the little ones! You spent major dollars on her first patriotic tutu, don’t let her ruin it with watery ice cream!

Don’t worry if you can’t find those pesky candy melts in your local grocer. If you don’t have a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby nearby, I’m told they’re selling them at Walmart now. And, if even Walmart is out of the bag, you can always use regular cake icing. It’s a tad bit more fattening, but isn’t that what holiday’s are for?

Experiment with different types of sprinkles (and maybe even other types of candies or decorations) and see what effect you like best!

2: Gett’n fruity with it!

If you’re trying for a healthier desert, don’t panic, I’ve got you covered. Fruit can be just as sweet, sugary and fun, without all the added calories.

Things to try: Use star shaped cookie cutters in watermelon.

What you’ll need:

  • Cookie cutters (preferably the metal kind)
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries or other summer fruit

This is one of those last minute food crafts that even the (older) kids can help out with. Slice your watermelon in half or whole Watermelon starscircles and hand out the cookie cutters. Try to get as many little stars cut out of your slice as possible, while trying to leave them at least a quarter of an inch thick. The thicker they are, the better they’ll hold up if you plan on sticking them on toothpicks and serving them as garnish.

Try serving them up as part of a fruit salad. Arrange them in a bowl with blueberries, patriotic fruit salad strawberries, cherries and other summer fruit. If you can swing it, go tropical! Add
chunks of mango, honeydew, pineapple, peaches, banana and lemon for a little twist and pucker.

Set it out for your guests to enjoy and add a little whipped topping if you’re in need of a little extra sweetness. The fruit can also be served up as skewers! Skewer up a few peach slices alongside your starry watermelon, spread them evenly on the grill and let them cook for seven to eight seconds on either side, depending on the heat of your grill. Once they’ve got grill marks, take them off and serve them alongside whatever your meal choice. They make great sides to ribs, pork steaks, burgers and just about anything else you’re grilling up.

3: Strawberries and stripes!

Here’s another fruity quickie that’ll leave your guests wondering if you’re somehow related to Martha Stewart!

Things to try: Dip strawberries in white candy melts then dip them again in sugar sprinkles.

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh strawberries (leave the stems!)
  • Candy melts (or white icing)
  • Blue sugar sprinkles

This not-so-seductive take on the chocolate dipped strawberry is the perfect way to work those patriotic colors into your table. patriotic strawberriesGrab those strawberries you’ve been planning to use for a …special night, and break out those candy melts again. After the
candy melts have reached optimal melting temperature and easy to work with, use tongs, a fork, or even a toothpick to dip and swirl your strawberries in the chocolate. You’ll have to move fast because that chocolate dries quick! Before it can cool and harden, dip the strawberry in a little bowl of blue sugar sprinkles. Allow them to cool and you’ve got a great snack or desert for your party goers!

If you want to add a little of the fireworks festivities to your patriotic strawberry, try dipping them in blue pop rocks instead of the sugar sprinkles. They’ll add a little snap, crackle and pop to the snack that your guests will love but won’t be expecting.

Pop these adorable little berries next to your fruit salad and your patriotic ice cream cones and you’ve got a full set that’s the perfect centerpiece to your last minute shindig.

Don’t forget to show your patriotism by flying an authentic American Flag at your party! The American flag is the ultimate symbol of freedom and is a testament to all those we celebrate and remember on this day. Happy Independence Day from all of us here at!

Shop72 American Flag