It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and my mood is falling somewhere between excitement for the coming festivities and a twinge of sadness that another holiday season has flown by. I really, truly love this time of year and kind of wish it could last forever… but then I remember that January is around the corner, with its fresh starts and new beginnings, and I get excited for setting new goals and being super healthy next month. And then if I’m being completely honest, summer is my real favorite season… but I digress.

We had a few close friends over for a proper dinner party on Friday night, and it was fun to hang out in a more intimate setting after having been to so many big parties over the last couple weeks. I feel like the most fun nights for me are usually the ones with a smaller group — it really allows the chance to connect and have those more meaningful conversations, or the hilarious ones that you end up talking about for years. How about you guys – do you love big blowout parties, or are smaller gatherings more your jam? I’d love to hear thoughts in the comments, and keep reading for my favorite links from around the web lately — there are some real gems this week. xo

This hilarious take on French vs. American women is also spot-on.

Some great advice to make your next trip the best one ever.

7 steps to the perfect cheese plate.

Just in case you haven’t yet watched The Instagram Husband…

Anyone else love pickled everything? Here’s how to do it yourself.

This cleanse is designed to be used between holiday parties… you know, so you can still fit into your cocktail dress.

Can you match these celebrity baby names to their parents?

The coziest holiday cocktail + appetizer party.

This butternut squash black bean chili is on the menu for this weekend.

*and a few fun things you may have missed!

The 10-minute workout you can do while you’re traveling this week.

It’s not too late to host a cookie decorating party! Here’s how to do it.

These holiday hangover beauty cures are lifesaving.

16 glittery, glamorous, fun dresses for New Year’s Eve.

*photos: sequins & things, poppietalk, allie seidel

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