MOVIE0021Howdy, friends! We’ve decided to combat these cold days & early evenings (this whole, getting dark at 5 p.m. thing isn’t my favorite) by hosting our own film festival at home! There are so many phenomenal movies out, so why not round up some friends, grab some wine & popcorn, and get the gang together?

Today we are showing you just how easy it is to host your own at-home film festival, complete with two insanely delicious popcorn recipes – Parmesan & Parsley and (the ever-favorite) Puppy Chow! Get ready my friends, you’ve got plans this weekend!


STEP ONE: Invite Your Guests!

A party, let alone a film festival, wouldn’t be a party without guests! My advice is to figure out how many you can fit in your space – that includes people lounging on the floor, sofa spots, pull-up chairs, whatever you can muster. The more the merrier in these cases & nothing makes you commit to throwing a party like having guests RSVP.

Send out a group text, email, or Facebook group, no matter the means, invite your guests to come over in comfy clothes & leave recommendations for what they want to see at the party. Which brings me to our next step…

MOVIE0026STEP TWO: The Movies!

Make sure to ask your guests what new releases they want to see. If you want to give the at-home film festival more of a theme, feel free to pick a genre (i.e. Comedy), time period (i.e. ’80s), or anything with a particular actor (i.e. Bill Murray), or whatever category your guests would like. If you want to make it more authentic, keep it to anything released this year.

Depending on the group, make sure to have several options, but plan on only watching a few. Three movies in a run can get a little tiring, so make sure to mix it up!

MOVIE0029STEP THREE: Plan the Menu!

You’ve got your invite list & you’ve got a general idea of the movies you want to play, now it’s time for the real fun – the menu! Since you are hosting a most laid back, relaxed event, no one expects for a meal to be served, but it is important to have plenty of yummy snacks close at hand.

What could be more appropriate for this type of gathering than fancy popcorn! Now when I say fancy I mean, it is super delicious, makes you look like a total pro, and takes less than 10 minutes to make. With a little prep time & some simple ingredients, you’ve got yourself two very gourmet appetizers within minutes.

To see the Parmesan & Parsley and Puppy Chow recipes, hop on over to our co-hosts blog and get the full breakdown!

MOVIE0011STEP FOUR: Set the Mood

Things are coming together and the time is getting near to your big film festival debut. Exciting! Now it’s time to get the house in order. Don’t worry about going crazy and deep cleaning the whole house (I mean, you can if you want, any excuse is fine in my book), but instead spend your energy on the main area – the living room.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of space for your guests to spread out, get comfy, and stay awhile. Stack some extra blankets on a cute stool in the corner, bring over an extra side table so everyone has a place to rest their drink & snacks, and make it homey. Who cares if the furniture gets re-arranged, or it looks messy, you want people to come & hang and watch movies. No one minds!


I am not going to say that this is the most important part of the get-together, but it’s a close second. There are few things more fantastic than drinking a big glass of delicious wine with a bowl of popcorn, sitting on the sofa, watching a great movie. You’ve got the makings for the perfect evening, now it’s time to pick the right wine!

For the savory & sweet lovers alike, the Vintner’s Reserve Merlot by Kendall-Jackson won’t steer you wrong. It’s full and delicious and will please even the beer-loving friends. It’s one of my favorite ‘go to’ wines and it hasn’t let me down yet.

Make sure you stock up on a few bottles because no one wants the wine to run out!

MOVIE0027That’s it! Five simple steps to hosting the most fabulous at-home film festival you could have ever imagined. Between good friends, delicious popcorn, fun movies, the perfect setting, and a hearty glass of wine, what could be better? Above all else, make sure to have a blast. Who cares if the movie is weird or you only make it through one because everyone just wants to hang out and catch up, the point is that you are all together & nothing is better than that!

If you are feeling inspired (and we hope you are!), tag us in your film festival night – we would love to see it! xoxo

lauren buttonconstance buttonThis post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.




APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELPOh dear friends. It is indeed the weekend and celebrate we must! I’ve only recently jumped on this whiskey train, and I must admit I waited way too long. I can’t say I’m tough enough to order a Johnny Walker straight up, I can definitely get behind a good whiskey based cocktail.

The best thing about this particular concoction? It’s super simple! We here at believe that eating, drinking, and entertaining is, above all else, supposed to be fun! You’ve heard us say it a million times – who cares if the sauce is runny or the chicken is  little burnt? Having friends and family there to laugh off the mishaps with is truly the best part!

So if you’re anything like me and prone to drop the ball every now and then (i.e. forget to thaw the meat in time or over-salt the brussel sprouts) be sure to have this yummy little cocktail up your sleeve! It’s easy, refreshing, and a mega crowd pleaser!



-5 fresh mint leaves

-1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

-1 apricot cut into wedges

-3/4 oz. simple syrup

-2 oz. Knob Creek Whiskey


-1 sprig fresh mint



-In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves, lemon juice, apricot wedges, and simple syrup.

-Add whiskey and ice to shaker.

-Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

-Strain cocktail through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass (over ice if desired).

-Garnish with fresh mint sprig.





FIG & PISTACHIO TOASTI don’t know about you, but I ended 2014 with a new found love of figs. Okay, obsession. I blame Pinterest. It just seems no matter how easy or simple the recipe, just add a few of these beauties, and you’ve got an instantly fancy appetizer that is sure to impress. And you have my word, this recipe for fig and pistachio toast is absolutely foolproof, and divine as a starter for any meal or dinner party!FIG & PISTACHIO TOASTFIG & PISTACHIO TOAST


-1 loaf of fresh honey wheat bread

-8 oz. of good chèvre

-1 1/2 cups of sliced dried figs

-1 1/2 cups of unsalted pistachios

– Zest from one lemon

– Honey



-Set oven on low broil. Distribute slices of the wheat bread evenly on the top rack, and leave oven door cracked while the bread toasts. Watch carefully so bread does not burn.

-In a small mixing bowl, combine the chèvre and lemon zest to taste. Remove bread from oven and let cool.

-Cover each slice with one tablespoon of the chèvre. Top with figs and pistachios and drizzle with honey.