Every winter it feels bittersweet to sign off for the end of the year. While a huge part of me enjoys giving my eyes a break from the laptop and getting some extra snuggle time with my cat, an even bigger part of me truly misses getting to be right here, writing.
As much as I’ve come to enjoy this blog as a job, this year Design*Sponge became something bigger and even more important to me. I realized, during a year of deep personal work and introspection, that this site has allowed me to discover who I am and share myself and my deepest passions with a community of people without whom I wouldn’t be the same.
Because of this site, I have discovered the best friends I’ve ever known, formed partnerships that have excited and inspired me, tested myself and learned new skills and built the type of inner confidence that I feel lucky to have even been allowed to feel. D*S started as such a solitary pursuit, but it’s become a real family to me. From the people working across the desk from me (that hot pink one above) to the people leaving comments and Tweets and Facebook notes, to the people who sometimes take a moment out of their lives to say hello in real life, I wouldn’t be the same without all of these people. I wouldn’t get to know the type of love, support and happiness that I feel privileged to know. So thank you, all of you, for supporting not just me but everyone here over the past nine years. As I round the corner toward a full decade of running this site, I feel more than ever like the luckiest person in the world.
I plan to come back in 2013 with the determination, excitement and enthusiasm of my younger self. I’ve gone through a lot in the past two years that has tested me and made me feel weary, but knowing that I get to come back here — to my online home and family — for another year makes me feel as energized and honored as ever. I am so excited to spend another year here with all of you, sharing ideas and inspiring each other to live fuller, happier lives. From the bottom of my heart, happy holidays and all of my best wishes for a wonderful 2013. I’ll see you again on January 2nd. Love, Grace
To celebrate 2013, we decided to throw a New Year’s party with a 13th Birthday Party theme. It was Max’s incredibly fun idea, and he really outdid himself, helping us pull together an evening complete with a cotton candy machine, heartthrob confetti, vintage board games, pink popcorn balls and a glittery photo booth. We’ve shared photos and all the decorating details after the jump, so I hope you’ll read on for the full story and some of our favorite people who shared the night with us.
Above image: Sparkling rosé makes a pink party-appropriate alternative to the typical champagne.
Above image: To tie-in with our “13” theme, we created round confetti with images of teen heartthrobs. Check out the directions for the project here.
Above image: Rice Krispies treats and popcorn balls are delicious snacks that capture the lighthearted and jubilant tone of New Year’s. We found the popcorn ball recipe here.
Above image: Mason jars filled with paper straws and bunches of pink carnations added a festive touch to the dessert table. We added some glitter-covered glass candleholders for when the sun went down.
Above image: Cake stands are a great way to mix up a buffet table. Even if you don’t have cakes or pies, they’re excellent for holding small dishes filled with cookies, candies and other treats! Also, if baking isn’t your forte, dress up decadent treats like donuts on beautiful platters!
Above image: Similarly colored Christmas ornaments were given an alternate use as shiny decorations hanging above the dessert table. They’re lightweight enough to string up and attach to the ceiling with a little bit of masking tape.
Above image: To add a bit of warmth to our game area, we tacked up some theme-appropriate wrapping papers to make a quick makeshift wallpaper. Most of the papers used are from Paper Source and Kate’s Paperie.
Above image: Our retro-styled cotton candy machine was the surprise hit of the evening!
Above image: Party guests enjoyed posing in our photo booth and playing classic board games! Check out the directions for creating your own New Year’s photo booth here!