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My Favorites: 5 Unique Holiday Recipes

By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO The holidays are a special time for me, filled with family, good friends, and great times. This is the time to spread joy, swap stories, and indulge in delectable holiday treats. You’ve probably had the old holiday standbys more times than you can count–sugar cookies, pumpkin or apple pie,… Read more »

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Baby Shower Trend: Toast Bars!

By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO Hosting a baby shower soon? Or a wedding shower? Or maybe just a fun get-together with friends? Try a toast bar! Toast bars are gaining in popularity because of their simplicity, their “anything goes” set-up, and their interactive arrangement. Plus, it’s a great way to appease picky eaters (they… Read more »

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5 Unique Valentine’s Ideas in the Twin Cities

Stuck in the same Valentine’s dinner-and-a-movie routine? Do something different this year! Show your significant other how much you care with these out-of-the-box Valentine’s day ideas, specifically tailored to the Twin Cities. Have fun! 1. Take a Cooking Class Love spending time together in the kitchen? Need some fresh ideas? Or maybe you and your… Read more »

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Dinner Party Decor for Less Than $150

By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO The holidays are wonderful for socializing, catching up with friends and family, and soaking in the joy of the season. However, they can also get expensive! If you’ve decided to play hostess this holiday season, you don’t have to break the bank. It is possible to put together a tasteful… Read more »

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Holiday Healthy Eating Hacks

By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO We’re in the thick of the holiday season, the best time of year for rekindling friendships and family ties…and the worst time of year for your waistline! This is the time of gravy boats, endless varieties of pie, and candy dishes filled to the brim at work. What’s a… Read more »

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DIY Tasteful Thanksgiving Decor

By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO It’s easy to find tacky Thanksgiving decorations on Pinterest (oh the things we’ve seen!). There are plenty of paper leaves and turkeys, spray-painted acorns, and pilgrims made out of T.P. tubes. But what about the tasteful decor? What if you’re hosting a Thanksgiving work party or classy turkey-time get… Read more »

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5 Common Summer Party Problems (and how to fix them!)

By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO Ah, summer. The time of backyard BBQs, lemonade, and making memories around the bonfire. It’s the perfect time to throw a party, but summer parties can be a little temperamental. What if it rains? What if bugs begin to pester your guests? What if (heaven forbid!) you run out… Read more »

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Flawless Entertainment without the Fuss

By Samantha Grose, Lead Designer Optima Homes and JP&CO. A great part about having a wonderful home is the ability to throw a great party. What’s more rewarding than gathering all of your near and dearest under one roof to enjoy company, food, and drink? Make sure that you’re always the hostess with the mostest,… Read more »