Last week myself and other local bloggers were treated to a holiday kickoff event in CITYCENTRE. MsIndependent has probably had no less than 100 meetups here over the years, but just in case you aren't familiar with CITYCENTRE, or it's been awhile, are a few reason to stop by for all things festive and fun for the holidays.

We started the afternoon at PaperSource, a mecca for all things crafty and adorable. Last year I started making my holiday cards after attending one of their workshops, and now I can't see myself buying a Christmas card ever again. We made our very own holiday tag, decorative ornament, and holiday card and envelopes. Even the most unsteady hand can make something beautiful and unique, so no thinking this isn't for you. The bloggers had fun tapping into their creative side, and with all the tools, stickers, paper designs and glitter ( can't forget the glitter), I felt like I was right back in grade school with plastic scissors making paper snowflakes. PaperSource will have many other fun workshops like this so check out their schedule and make your own cute crafts.

Next we went to one of my other favorite stores in the area, Z Gallerie. I have been redecorating my room ( that's a post for another day), so Z Gallerie and I have gotten really close over the past few weeks. The store has bold bright colors, and the layout is similiar to Charming Charlie ( also in CITYCENTRE) in that the store is laid out based upon color. Here we were treated to a lesson on how to decorate a Christmas tree. Seems simple enough, but I pretty much just throw the ornaments on, stand back and think eh good enough, but apparently there is a better way. We learned that the larger ornaments(or one specific ornament) should be placed in a zigzag fashion on each side of the tree. From there you'll take another style of ornament and place it in the gaps created with your zigzag pattern, and do that for all sides of the tree as well. So all the ornaments follow a pattern, but when you step back they look evenly distributed and with considerably less effort on your part trying to figure out what goes where. Oh and the best part,the designer decorated this tree in all of 5 minutes or less. So you know what that means...more time for eggnog and watching the Charlie Brown special for the 8th time.

Our last stop of the evening was at Hotel Sorella. I've only stayed here once for NYE, and although I remember the hangover more than anything, I do love the rich elegance of their design and decor. As we made our way into the 11th floor Penthouse Suite, we were greeted with a server and a tray of whites and reds. We were there to celebrate the hotel's Signature Scent Launch Party, Linobello. We had been smelling these candles in the lobby and remarking on how AMAZING and clean the scent was, so you can imagine my enthusiasm when our goodie bags included a full sized candle and home spray.

A view from the Penthouse

A view from the Penthouse

So cool to see "the green" from this angle.

So cool to see "the green" from this angle.

Chef's from Radio Milano, The Tasting Room, and Straits, offered us some sweet and savory decadent bites that had us all salivating and reapplying lipstick. My favorite morsel of the evening came from The Tasting Room. It was a small pie crust filled with goat cheese, candied pecans, bacon and figs. It's simple and yet it will change your life, and quite possibly bring a tear to your eye.

It was a fantastic evening of superb food, creativity, and connecting with like-minded women, who have great stories, blogs, and style to spare. Check out a few of the bloggers that I connected with, and be sure to join us at our next meetup in CITYCENTRE and beyond.

Jaclyn has a great blog for all you hot mommas out there. Beauty and the Binky

Taylor is all about keeping it young, modern, and fabulous. Pretty Pink Living

Felice is part of a dynamic duo that will keep you in the know on all things H-Town. Urban Swank

Chimee brings the style with her blog Around the Way Gyrl

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