in partnership with World Market. all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining

20 Hilarious White Elephant Gift IdeasElle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday Entertaining Elle Apparel Holiday EntertainingEXCLAMATION POINT SWEATER  ||  SIMILAR DISTRESSED JEANS  ||  JIMMY CHOO HEELS  ||  IVORY STATEMENT TASSLE EARRINGS


Garrett and I have thrown a handful of White Elephant gift exchange parties since we have been married, and it is always our FAVORITE party to throw! This year we have a new house that we haven’t furnished yet, so we decided to invite all of our close friends over and fill our space with people! Since we love to host this kind of party, I’m going to share a few things we do that help to guarantee a fun time for everyone who comes and a few ways to lighten the load of the hosts!

This year I partnered with World Market to get my house party ready. I always love shopping their site or store during the holiday season. They have such amazing kitchen items and entertaining dishes, and they are always the first place I check when I am throwing a party. I have decorated for Christmas for the past two years with ornaments and decor from their Holiday section, and it is so beautiful and so reasonably priced! They are currently having a 10% off sale online with code: JOLLY10 (& free shipping on orders over $50). You can also watch a cute little holiday film on their site here.


Here are some tips for throwing an effortless holiday party:

  • SEND EMAIL INVITES: It makes for a more “formal” invite than a text, but it is SO much easier and more convenient (for the host and guest). It is easy to RSVP and guarantees that it gets to your guests right away. I used Paperless Post to send mine and they have great options!
  • SET THE SCENE: Now that we are able to have a larger number of people in our home, I picked up some great entertaining pieces from World Market. I LOVE their home entertaining section. I set up a cheese platter with this marble tray, filled up this water jug with water, ice, and cranberries for color, and displayed my pies on some cute cake stands. I love all of the gold serving utensils they carry too. Their prices can’t be beat either! They are currently having a 10% off sale online with code: JOLLY10 (& free shipping on orders over $50).
  • BE CLEAR OF WHAT IS EXPECTED IN THE INVITE: If you are having a White Elephant party for a big group (8+ couples) make sure to tell the guests to bring one White Elephant gift per couple. Also, it’s important to be specific about the kind of White Elephant gift the couples are supposed to bring. If you want the gifts to be a little nicer for a small intimate gathering, you might want to suggest a price point/budget for the gift. You can also opt for a more formal looking card. I wanted our White Elephant gifts to be silly and clever, so my invitation said “Bring the funniest gift you can find + a plate of goodies to share.”
  • ASK GUESTS TO BRING A PLATE OF GOODIES TO SHARE: Some might think it is tacky to ask party guests to bring food to to a party that they are invited to, but those aren’t the kinds of people I invite to my parties 😉 Dividing out the food makes party prep much less stressful. It also gives people an excuse to bake a yummy holiday recipe they have been wanting to try! When guests asked me what kind of food to bring (appetizer/dessert) I told them to bring whichever one they would prefer. If I am having them bring food, I’m not going to be picky! One of my best friends brought 25 tacos from Taco Bell and it was a riot (and a hit!) They were gone in minutes!
  • SPECIFY THE DRESS CODE: Not everyone has a fancy holiday party to attend, so on my invitation I told my guests to dress as “festive or fancy as you please.” This meant that we got a great amount of amazing ugly Christmas sweaters, and any of the women who wanted to wear dresses and sparkles and statement earnings felt free to dress as fancy as they wanted without feeling like they would show up overdressed. I also want to note, that as a host for the party, you need to go all out in how you dress. Make it funny/quirky (Garrett wore this hilarious dog sweater) or fancy (I went with a nice sweater, statement earrings, a pencil skirt, and heels), but whichever way you go, dress ALL OUT. This way you won’t have a guest who feels overdressed and everyone will feel festive!
  • DOUBLE CHECK NUMBER OF GIFTS + COUPLES: If you are throwing a White Elephant party, make sure you count all of the presents and the number of couples to make sure they add up. I always have a few extra White Elephant gifts wrapped and prepped just in case we are short any! I also had a bowl with small pieces of paper with numbers on the paper ready to go for each couple to draw from. I just made sure to include the exact number of papers as couples/presents.


Shop my favorite holiday entertaining items below:


White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules:

If you haven’t heard of a White Elephant party, they are so much fun! We had 16 couples come and they each brought a creative wrapped gift and placed it under our Christmas tree. After about an hour of mingling/eating, we had everyone sit around the tree and I had each couple pick from a bowl of papers all numbered 1-17 (17 couples including us). The couple that drew #1 went first and selected a gift to open in front of everyone. The couple that drew #2 went next, and they can either select an unopened present under the tree, or “steal” any gift that has already been opened. If your gift gets stolen, you get to select a new gift under the tree, or steal from someone else (just not your original gift). Since there were so many couples, we only allowed a gift to be “stollen” twice. The second time a gift is stollen, it can’t be taken again and is safe with the couple. Repeat this till every couple has had a chance to open or steal a gift. It is so much fun to see the kind of cleaver gifts people bring! We had exceptionally hilarious gifts at out party, so I compiled a list of some of the best White Elephant gifts if you need any ideas! World Market is the BEST place to get White Elephant gifts! They have an entire section on their site dedicated to funny and clever White Elephant gifts.



    1. A vinyl record of Mariah Carey’s Christmas album
    2. “Basket Case” basketball hoop hat
    3. 50 Shades of Chicken Cookbook (hilarious. and it has real recipes!)
    4. A Magic 8 Ball
    5. A betta fist
    6. Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right mugs
    7. Tiny dog book
    8. World’s smallest Etch A Sketch
    9. Kitty cat egg mold
    10. Santa sunglasses
    11. A hot dog stapler
    12. Stitch up the leg holes in a pair of large tighty whities and attach a handle to the waistband and call it a “Briefcase”
    13. A fanny pack that looks like a man’s fat roll 
    14. “Freeze the perfect man” ice tray
    15. Voice changing microphone
    16. “Thats what she said” game
    17. Farting Animals coloring book
    18. “Gangsta Wrapper” mug
    19. Predict-a-pen
    20. Big Foot slippers


Shop more good White Elephant gifts below:




3 Tips for moving to a new home. 3 Tips for moving to a new home. 3 Tips for moving to a new home. 3 Tips for moving to a new home. 3 Tips for moving to a new home. 3 Tips for moving to a new home.


We are moving into a new house next month, which means we are super busy packing, cleaning, and prepping for the move. One of the first things I do when I move into a new house is stock up on all the household cleaning supplies I will need. I always like to give the new house a really good cleaning before we are officially moved in so that I know it’s spic and span. I love that carries all the household cleaning products I have on my list, and they deliver them all to my doorstep in two days. It’s a bonus that their packaging looks just as good as their products work! It’s been my life saver, and my one stop shop for getting out new house prepped for the big move in day!

Since life is literally crazy with all we have going on right now (we are moving in the middle of the busiest season of the year!), I thought I would share three things that have been helpful for me throughout this moving process:


1. Cleaning our new place before we start moving in. This is one of the first things that needs to get done to give me some sanity! Without this step complete, we can’t start bringing all of our stuff over to the new house. With so little time and so much to do, has come to my cleaning rescue. Jet launched a new brand called Uniquely J, and I have been really happy with the quality of their cleaning supplies. They are free from harsh chemicals, which I love, and they are really good at getting surfaces clean without leaving streaks or dust behind. I’ve been using this fragrance free glass cleaner for my mirrors, and these cleaning wipes for just about everything! This all purpose cleaning spray has been amazing for cleaning the kitchen counters, and it smells so good.

2. Numbering my boxes. Instead of just writing what is in each box, I assign each room a number and label each box accordingly. This is so helpful when you have friends and family helping you move. It’s such a nightmare when all your boxes are put into the same room and you have to literally re-move all the boxes to get them into the right place. So this system keeps things simple and organized.

3. Decluttering before the move! I have been working really hard on getting rid of broken toys, donating household items we don’t use anymore, and purging my closet. If we haven’t used it since our last move, it goes! I love making a new home a fresh start, so it’s important to make this move as clutter free as possible.


We have a lot of busy weeks ahead of us with this move, but we are so excited for our new home. I’m looking forward to having everything clean and unpacked so that I can start to work on the organization and decoration with our new space! I can’t wait to share more details in the weeks and months to come.





 in partnership with  |  photography by Jordan Zobrist


Golden mustard lace blouse + distressed denim.GOLD LACE BLOUSE (on sale for $18! I’m wearing a Med) | DISTRESSED BLACK JEANS | THANK YOU CARD c/o PAPYRUS

These past few months have been full of celebration in the Barlow house. My oldest son and youngest son celebrated birthdays only a few weeks apart, my youngest brother graduated from college, school is in full swing, and I finally feel like I’ve recovered from the craziness of Fashion Week. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I’ve made it a point to reach out to continue celebrating the friends and family in my life. This month I teamed up with PAPYRUS and and they sent me their 2017 everyday card line. These cards are just done right. They are detailed, fun, and tasteful. I feel like it is so easy to send a text message to say “thank you” or “congrats!”, but I think that the physical gesture of taking the time to mail a card says a whole lot more than a text could.

The best thank you cards.

Golden mustard lace blouse + distressed denim.

Golden mustard lace blouse + distressed denim.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

I want to teach my boys the importance of celebrating others, so I grabbed some of my favorite everyday PAPYRUS cards and sent a congratulations card and a Cheesecake Factory gift certificate to my brother who graduated college, a thank you note to my mother-in-law for watching my boys while I was gone at Fashion week, a note to a sweet friends whose son is in the hospital, and a note to my mom telling her how much I love her.

Since Bradley got lots of thoughtful birthday presents, I figured it was the perfect time to instill the importance of sending thank you cards. I’ll admit..I’ve gotten really bad at it now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start fresh with my kids. I sat down with Bradley and helped him write out a thank you note to his Aunts for taking him golfing and out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. I explained to him that they worked hard to make sure he was happy, he should write them and tell them how much fun he had! I made sure we had a beautiful card to send, and Bradley loved getting to stick on the stamp and put it in our mailbox.

Some celebrations in life require parties and presents and planning, but I want to make sure I teach my boys to grow up celebrating the little moments of love and kindness that happen in our everyday life.

Shop my look:

in collaboration with PAPYRUS  |  photography by Kendra Maarse



Spring is here! There is something so magical about this time of year. I usually trade in my jeans for fun sundresses, and I found some really cute ones at Gap Factory. I love this lightweight chambray dress. It’s so versatile. Chambray is definitely a trend one you can wear year-round. (I got it for an amazing price too)
One of my absolute favorite things to do in spring is to fill my home with flowers. All of my very favorite flowers are in bloom now and I feel like I buy flowers from Trader Joes as often as I buy milk.
It’s great to have pretty flowers, but arranging them correctly can be harder than it looks. Today I’m sharing a simple trick to getting your flowers to stay exactly where you want them in the vase without having to hassle with messy floral foam.
  1. Pick your vase and get enough flowers to fill the opening. I picked hydrangeas to arrange (my very favorite) but this technique works well with any kind of flower and any vase with a medium to large opening.Also grab some tape and plant scissors (the ones I have are so rusted I just used normal household scissors. I need to get a new pair!) *hint, the larger the flower the less flowers you will need to fill your vase
  2. Tape off a grid pattern along the opening of your vase. I made my square openings about 2″ x 2″, but you can make them a little smaller for a more narrow vase.
  3. Measure how deep your vase is and trim your flowers to that length. Pull off any extra leaves on the bottom of the stem, but don’t throw them out just yet.
  4. Stick the flowers in the openings of the tape grid you created. The grid allows the flowers in the middle to stay propped up to make the vase look nice and full. Once you have filled any holes with flowers, fill around the edges and a few middle spots with the extra leaves.



I plan on living in my sundress and keeping my house full of flowers for the next few months an I couldn’t be happier about it!

in collaboration with Gap Factory


I am so excited to reveal my studio with you all today! It is one of my favorite rooms in the house. (if it were big enough to fit a bed…then it would be my favorite) I wanted this space to be clean, airy, feminine, and somewhere that I can be inspired as I sew and design my clothing. I put a lot of thought into every detail of this room (pretty sure I arranged the tables about 6 times) and it came out exactly as I had envisioned it. I pulled a lot from my inspiration board and am really happy with the result.
All of the resources to details of my studio can be found below. If I left anything out, just ask me!
DESK: IKEA (I used a long one and a short one and formed them in an L shape)
THREAD HOLDER: VINTAGE (I sprayed it gold)
INSPIRATION BOARD; MADE BY ME (I used this tutorial from Merrick’s Art)



When we first moved into our house I was so excited to decorate my office. I wanted to make the space light, airy, and feminine. I wanted to it to be a place that could really help spark my creativity. I spend lots of late nights in there working and I wanted it to be a place that I would enjoy spending hours in. I am so close to being done and I can’t wait to share it with you! Today I wanted to share my inspiration board. Creating the board really helps bring my vision to life, and made it easy to see what works and what doesn’t.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13
I fell in love with this lotus light fixture and this rug, and pulled inspiration from both of these two pieces. I can’t wait to share the completed look with you!
Shop all of my inspiration pieces below…



After living in our house almost a year, I am finally ready to really start decorating our space.  We live in a bungalow built back in 1912 that was recently remodeled.  It has so much charm and after lots of stewing, shopping, and planning, I have started finalizing the designs for each room.  Right now I am working on my kitchen/living room area.  It is one big room, and I want a light neutral space with a few pops of color and gold accents (so pretty much how I plan my outfits).  World Market has been a lifesaver for me in the design process.  I feel like they are this hidden gem full of so many beautifully designed pieces at incredible prices.  I just snagged this amazing light fixture for my office for just under $100!  I am completely obsessed and have been on the hunt for something like this for months.

While the decor accents add the finishing touches, starting with amazing furniture pieces are really what kickstarts the look and feel of a room.  World Market is having a huge 25% off sale on all of their furniture and it starts today!  I’m ready to narrow in on some key pieces (these beauties have my name all over them) and wanted to make sure you all could benefit as well.  (use code FURNTIME)  Enjoy, and happy weekend!

Shop my World Market inspiration board below…