Tag Archives: carathanassis

4 Easy Steps to Create my Thanksgiving Table in a Small Space

17 Nov

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post)

Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away and you are probably starting to think about food shopping, cooking, and decorating your table (or eating if you aren’t in charge of any of those things).  Though I will be with my DNA family for the holidays, I celebrated the big day with my “NYC Family” last week.  If you think you don’t have enough room in your apartment to host such a gala – think again. With some strategic placement of furniture (I used my couch as dining seats on one side) and a few fold out tables, I fit 12 people in my (NYC, one bedroom) apartment. Yes, you can do that too.

As you scramble to prep…here are some of the cute ideas you can steal from my Thanksgiving Dinner Table.

How to Create the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

4 Easy Steps to Re-Creating my Holiday Table in a Small Space

1. Colorful Linens:  Dress your table the way you would dress yourself! Expressive, bright and cheery. Layer a generic white table cloth on your table (you can find an inexpensive one at Target) and a smaller pumpkin colored table cloth on top of it. Balance your linens with a pop of another color for napkins – I went with ombre green cloth from Ikea (available in-store only).  I tucked a fall leaf on top each napkin (from my local dollar store) and slipped them into the cutest ceramic novelty napkin holders from H&M (who knew they had an incredible home line?!)

2. Mix fun and traditional table accessories: I stole an antique candelabra from my parent’s house (yes, I think they might be looking for it as we speak) and adorned it with orange unscented candles from Ikea and popped a miniature pumpkin in the middle. I surrounded the candelabra with festive fall finds – I cut up a bouquet of Chrysanthemums in a mix of autumn shades and arranged them into small juice glasses.  I placed electronic tea lights into Japanese glass tea cups, strategically placed a few gourds and added the most adorable salt and pepper squirrel set (another great find at H&M Home Line) as a final touch.

3. A new spin on place cards:  Place cards have been a time strong tradition for dinner parties (and a MUST if you come to one of mine). This dinner party I picked up mini-pumpkins, painted their stems in clear glue, dipped them into green sparkles and then wrote guest’s initials with a black Sharpie. It was a charming adornment to the dinner plates and guests got to take the pumpkin home as a gift.
NOTE: do the sparkle trick the night before (some of mine were still wet when my dinner party started).

4. Unique and one-of-a-kind place settings: There is nothing like Etsy when you want to find one-of-a kind and interesting ideas for gifts and decor. I ordered the most ingenuous burlap place-mats from MegsBurlapBoutique and asked if she wouldn’t mind personalizing using my own sayings.  She was quick with a reply and was happy to oblige – $56 dollars and two weeks later, my  “YUM”, “NOM NOM NOM”, “GET IN MY BELLY” and “NAPKIN TO LAP” setting for 8 arrived and were the talk of dinner. Thanks Meg – you helped to put the final touches to my creative dinner design landscape.

As always, the key to a successful dinner party isn’t just the food and the decor – it is about the people and the love in the room. These are the lovely family-friends that joined my soiree. I am certainly thankful for everyone single one of them this Thanksgiving! Happy GOBBLE!

How to Create the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

sign off with lips


#NYFW My Beauty Survival Kit

7 Sep

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post*)

I am often asked about my beauty regimen. I am asked even more frequently about my absolute “I die”-like-Rachael-Zoe-favorite-beauty-products…with the exception of a few tried and true, my beauty bag turns over quite a bit with new faves. So it has always been a toughie to answer. The truth is – there are some pretty fabulous products on the market and new ones popping up faster than bunnies in the spring.

With Fashion Week in full swing, I have been flooded with how I am surviving (it is Saturday night at 11:48 pm – does that answer your question – I am working!). But thankfully, my beauty stash is helping to keep me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as I live the life of a crazy little lifestyle blogger – during New York Fashion Week.

I present you with a peek into my fashion week beauty arsenal:

FW Must haves

1. Clinique has a soft spot in my heart – she was the FIRST brand I ever used (which I detail in a post from a few years back).  When I tell you that my skin chugs Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator faster than a frat boy with a Natural Light in hand, I kid you not.  This wonder cream keeps my skin feeling plumped and healthy and not the least bit greasy (which I can tend to sway towards). This oil-free cream-gel has held up her side of the bargain – to make my skin look fresh and supple.

Fashion Week Beauty Must have #1 Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator, SRP $49.50

2. You probably want me to shut up about Cargo Blush in Laguna. I swear to the heaven’s above, I do not work for the company – they just make a product I am obsessed with. She still holds the award for the best darn blush on the planet. The color lasts forever (I rarely have to touch my face up), offers a stellar flushed cheek and looks perfect on everyone – any skin tone. I still have yet to find one it doesn’t work on. I challenge you to find one. You won’t. I promise. Don’t waste your time.

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #2 Cargo Blush in Laguna, SRP $26.00

3. J’Adore Dior. This lipgloss grabbed the baton and ran off the track with it. SUPERIOR. Dior Addict Lip Gloss in Fresh Expert (a soft baby pink) is the love child of Clinique Moisture Surge and Cargo Laguna (see above). You following?  This super luxe formula glides on with one sweep, hydrates my lips, gives a youthful appearance, lasts forever and delivers a sexy glossy pout (no stick, goop or other things that keep boys from kissing you sometimes). She has attended all fashion shows with me thus far (even tucked into my bra when I left my bag at the office.)

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #3 Dior Addict Lip Gloss in Fresh Expert, SRP $31.00

4. This one surprised me – and the reason I was prompted to try it is because of my doppelgänger Zooey Deschanel. Since apparently we were separated at birth, I thought I would give Rimmel Lash Accelerator a whirl. Ummm, I think ZD might have felt the butterfly kiss I sent her all the way on the West Coast with how long my lashes were with just one coat.  My lashes cause a breeze in the room when I blink (who needs air conditioning when CC is in-the-house). Con…I can’t wear my sunglasses…they bend into the frames (#toughlife).

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #4 Rimmel Lash Accelerator in Extreme Black, SRP $8.75

5. Does everyone match their mood to their Essie shade? This week I am sporting Essie in First Dance, in honor of my prom date…who I am still waiting to dance with. Max? Hello??? (echo – echo). No first dance for this gal, so I’m taking First Dance to all of Fashion Week on my toes. I love you Essie.

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #5 Essie Nail Polish in First Dance, SRP $8.00

6. Want to know a big secret…us beauty girls have filthy hair. Fashion gals too – don’t try to deny it ladies. The cat is out of the bag.  Our stylists tell us that dirty hair takes better to our favorite barrel curls and beachy waves. And this is true. But…sometimes it goes longer than it should.  Redken Powder Refresh (the mini comes with me EVERYWHERE) not only freshens up dirty-girls like me, it also helps to add texture when you need it and can come in handy for a spruce up (i.e. after gym hair).

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #6 Redken Powder Refresh 01, SRP $18.00

7. Want a man to stop you in the street and tell you that your hair sparkles in the sun and that you smell like the beach? Turn on Lifetime. That doesn’t happen in “real life” – however, Pureology Precious Oil Versatile Caring Oil will get you close to your movie moment. Made with sunflower, coconut, olive and jojoba oils, you must just want to make out with your own hair. Total bonus that this hair product also doubles as a skin oil. It not only makes my skin glow, but I smell like I just came back from Hawaii. PS. boys LOVE this one.

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #7 Pureology Precious Oil Versatile Caring Oil, SRP $40.00

8. After a long hot shower, there is NOTHING better than right before slipping into my crisp sheets spraying myself head to toe in this divine dry body oil by Boots no.7.  You wake to soft skin and no oily mess. The perfect rejuvenation for another day at Fashion Week (yummy hint of almond #obsessed, vanilla and white florals).

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #8 Boots no.7 Pamper Dry Body Oil Body Spray, SRP $8.99

9. Now that I have found you, we will never depart! Travalo is by far the best invention since the Post-It (and comes in just as many fashionable colors). Travalo is the pocket-sized portable, refillable perfume case and from what I hear the “it” accessory for NYFW. Stella McCartney (the perfume, not the designer) can now come everywhere with me – from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (where it is featured front and center in 4 hospitality suites and in all the 9 backstage areas), to dinner with my man apres FW and then to the airport (this little lady is FLIGHT FRIENDLY). With just a few small steps, you can transfer any and all of your fragrances into this discreet and airline approved container #obsessed.

Fashion Week Beauty Must Have #9 Travalo Classic Excel Green, SRP $20

Happy NYFW!

sign off with lips


Have Your Cake and Sip It Too!

26 Jun

IMG_0014aBy Karabelle…@CBellesCloset



Over the years my closest girlfriends and I have developed a nice pre-night-on-the-town hour ritual. There are always blow dryers, sequins, and beverages galore. To add a little spice to our glam time we always try out new cocktails, wines, and the occasional beer (we save the beers for nights when none of us are attempting to pull off a Herve Leger Bandage dress – for obvious reasons).

I happily had the privilege of hosting our most recent glam night and was extremely excited to surprise my girls with my most recent discovery, Delicia (and it is indeed, just that DELIC!).

Delicia is a dessert flavored alcoholic pick-me-up and it had my besties completely enthused. If there is one thing that links me to my girls, besides our love of shoes and lip-gloss, it is our outrageous sweet tooth. Delicia managed to combine two of our most beloved enjoyments and it was the perfect way to begin one epic girl’s night out.IMG_0016a We tested Delicia Whipped, Strawberries & Cream, Peaches & Cream and Red Velvet (my personal favorite of the bunch). Each flavor seemed to match up with one of our personalities perfectly – I guess that confirms, I am indeed DECADENT.

In the process of clinking glasses, giggling over the bubbles and singing 90′s music a little too loud – I also found the most awesome new shade of lip-gloss (in Hilary’s adorable new “Happy Hour” Rebecca Minkoff “Happy Hour” clutch #MyRM) that ironically MATCHED the color of drink – my OCD was in pure heaven –Stila Lip Glaze in Strawberry (SRP $20).

(21+ – please drink responsibly)

Delicia Dessert Flavored Alcohol

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FTC 2013 Disclosure


Cocktail of the Week: Guinness + Tequila=The Black Opal

8 Mar

By Christabelle…@CBellesCloset

Who says that beer must be the only drink served on St. Patrick’s Day? Those who are looking to celebrate the Irish festivities with a sophisticated twist…Guinness plus Tequila = one happy leprechaun! On March 17th, dip your Irish self into a pot of gold called the “Black Opal”.


The Black Opal
Partida Tequila and Guinness Draft

by Tequila Partida’s Bartender Ambassador Jacques Bezuidenhout
1 1/2 oz Partida ReposadoTequila
1 1/2 oz Guinness Draft
1/2 oz Tawny Port
1/4 oz Agave Nectar
Dash of Angostura Bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled wine glass or small pint glass without ice. Garnish with some grated or ground cinnamon powder.

Guinness note: Take a pint of Guinness before hand and use a bar spoon to stir it up for about 30 secs. This removes some of the Co2.

(21+ – please drink responsibly)

christina carathanassis

Cocktail of the Week: The Wizard

22 Feb christina Carathanassis, christabelle's closet

By Christabelle…@CBellesCloset

Did you know vodka is the most consumed liquor in the United States? I did, because it is all being consumed by my circle of friends. Joking, of course (or am I?)…now critically acclaimed cocktail guru Tony Abou-Ganim (Author of Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails - and soon to be my new BFF) has turned our attention towards renewing our appreciation for this oft-maligned spirit.

My taste buds have found the yellow brick road to happiness with this delectable recipe, The Wizard.

Reprinted with permission from Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and VodkaCocktails, by Tony Abou-Ganim with Mary Elizabeth Faulkner, Agate Surrey, February 2013.

Reprinted with permission from Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka
Cocktails, by Tony Abou-Ganim with Mary Elizabeth Faulkner, Agate Surrey, February 2013.

Recipe: The Wizard
The Wizard benefits from a robust vodka with lots of character. I look to the old-world
vodkas of Eastern Europe, those made from rye or potato.


2 oz (60 ml) vodka
1 oz (30 ml) Cinzano Bianco
B/c oz (15 ml) Yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters


In an ice-filled mixing glass add vodka, Cinzano Bianco, Yellow Chartreuse, and orange
bitters; stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled, small (Nick & Nora–sized) cocktail
glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

(21+ – please drink responsibly)

ABOUT TONY: Tony Abou-Ganim grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin
Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan, before going on to develop cocktail programs for numerous restaurants in San Francisco (working with Harry Denton) and  New York (working with Mario Batali) and at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He operates his own beverage consulting firm and also serves as the national ambassador of the U.S. Bartenders Guild. Mary Elizabeth Faulkner is a writer living in the San Francisco Bay area.

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