Lights, Camera – Oscars…at Home: Tips on How to Throw a Viewing Party!


Who’s attending one of the most glamorous nights in Hollywood, The Oscars … from your living room?!? Me!!! I am going to give you tips on “how to” throw a SIMPLE & EASY viewing party right from your home, but first let me rewind …

unnamedCortney Bailey

For almost a decade I reported LIVE from the Red Carpet at one of the hottest Academy Award pre show parties and after show parties held at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel. It was exciting and I learned how to throw a stylish celebrity filled event! Guests, PR agents, Celebs and TV hosts, like myself, were dressed in gorgeous formal attire, sipped champagne and whispered “who” had their vote – off camera of course!

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I don’t know about you but unless I am actually at the Dolby Theatre, the venue of the Academy Awards, or attending one of the parties I mentioned above I do NOT want to dress up in formal attire, especially in my own living room! I want to be comfy and I would imagine your friends and family do too … trust me the guys will thank you! To keep the evening festive but relaxed I would recommend everyone come dressed casual in black, white, silver or gold. Let’s be real, these colors will make your photos of the evening super cute as well. Personally, this means my trendy joggers will be making an appearance with a stylish off-the-shoulder gold or silver top.



Now what to sip and snack on? Since the celebrities have more-than-likely been cleansing weeks before the BIG NIGHT, why not start your guests off with shots of green juice? I have a juicer and love to juice fresh veggies and fruit but you can always buy green juice from your local grocery store and pre fill shot glasses or juice glasses with the concoction. Next, what is an Oscar party without bubbles? Champagne or prosecco will be perfect. To add a little glam, rim your champagne glasses with edible gold glitter before you fill the glasses with the bubbly liquid. Even though it’s not “movie night” – popcorn is a must! Set out a “popcorn bar” – it’s easy to make and your guests can help themselves. I would suggest buying red and white striped popcorn boxes that can easily be filled with the corn. Place the pre-popped corn in a large bowl and add a scoop so your guests can easily fill their boxes. Last, set out various spices, candies and sauces to be mixed into the corn. Some examples are: truffle zest (Oprah’s favorite), salt, pepper, onion powder, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chips, caramel, white chocolate and chocolate.




Oscar ballots are a fun way for you and your guests to keep track of the winners OR if you want to play a game by filling out a ballot before the show starts, Vanity Fair has made it easy by providing a printable version HERE. Many local bakeries will have Golden Oscar Statue cookies or cupcakes, which would make a great prize for the winner!


If you would like to spice up the festive décor in your home for Oscars night think white flower arrangements, balloons in the black, white, silver and gold color palette and for a pop of color add a “red carpet” table runner or red butcher paper under your popcorn bar and bubbles!



Who has YOUR Vote on Sunday? Do you have a creative idea for your Oscar’s party?  Please DO SHARE as I’d LOVE to hear from you!  I am always looking for new ideas!

Keep Dreaming, Designing & Dwelling…



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Cortney Bailey

Lip-Smacking Good! The Final “Must Have” of Eight for Winter 2013!!!


The eighth and final “Must Have” for Winter 2013 are lip-smacking but simple snacks!  If it’s just you, yourself and I or if you have an entire heard to feed these munchies will be yummy to everyone’s tummy!!!  Don’t forget the presentation of your scrumptious snacks is just important as the treat itself. If you are having a party for one be kind to yourself and put a little effort into the arrangement of your goodies. It goes without saying, if you are having friends or family over, staging your snacks is key to the overall vibe of your event – no matter how casual or grand your get-to-gather may be, remember it’s all about the appearance.

If you pride yourself in your culinary abilities or if you pat yourself on the back for being able to make popcorn I promise, you will be happy with the following ideas and so will everyone else!

Weelicious is a fantastic and over-the-top creative site for delicious, yet easy to follow recipes.  Here are a few amazing ideas for this winter!!!

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 Next, are some of my favorite snacks from Trader Joe’s and everyone loves them. 

  1. TJ’s Pizzas are great on a cold night and are super easy to pop in the oven!  After the pizza is cooked simply cut it into small slices and believe me, if you are entertaining several people, the slices will be gone before you can pop the next pizza into the over!!!
  2. Raisin Rosemary Crisps are great with cheeses and dips and are a little more unexpected than the normal, ho-hum cracker!
  3. The Three Layer Hummus by TJ’s will bring a little spice to your palate! It’s great with veggies or small pitas or pita chips.
  4. The last favorite item from TJ’s is their fantastic selection of cheeses!  My mouth is watering just thinking about their options – make sure you try the Italian Truffle Cheese – OMG it’s amazing!!!


Speaking of cheese…next is a cheese board! If you have always loved cheese boards but are not sure how to put one together you can easily follow the example board posted! The more comfortable you become with boards you can begin to add meats, pastes, honey and various olives!

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Last are just a few tools to help make your snack presentation gorgeous! All the items are from Crate & Barrel and obviously they have hundreds of other options for you to choose from.  From top to bottom: Olivewood Cheese Board (small slices of pizza would work on this as well.), Set of Six Cheese Markers, Set of Three Cheese Tools and Large Rectangle Slate Board.

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Looking for great cheeseboards & tools?  Check out some of these great options:

Wood Cheese Board: Click Here

Slate Cheese Board: Click Here

Cheese Board Tools: Click Here

I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite but easy to make winter snacks?  I’m always looking for new ideas so leave me a comment below or follow me on one of the social network sites below and share your ideas!

Keep Dreaming Designing & Dwelling!


Cortney Bailey

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