Now that we’re deep into the holiday season, I’m back with another collection of outfits and recipes. The idea of holiday party season fuels me throughout the entire month of December, with dreams of delicious meals and sparkly dresses. The catch is, I don’t really attend many holiday parties in real life (I spend most of my month hanging out at home in jammies). So here, I’ve taken the concept of a holiday party and stripped its principles back to the basic notion of festivity— instead of one-use glittery outfits, I’ve jazzed up some pieces that can be worn outside of the holidays for maximum festive impact, and in terms of holiday cooking, I’m including three of my favorite appetizers. Appetizers are the perfect party starter— they’re easy to prepare, people love eating bite-sized foods, and they give people something to do with their hands as they chat while giving you extra time to get things ready. And in a season where people are coming back together after a time apart, appetizers and festive-casual outfits keep things light and cheery.

The holidays often bring back nostalgia for many of us, which is why I love making stuffed mushrooms, a classic party appetizer. I think of these as slightly old-fashioned, but in a warm, homey way. And the filling is vegetarian— it’s just the leftover mushroom stems with some herby, cheesy goodness mixed in. For the outfit, I kept things similarly conservative in both color and cut, with this Everlane cashmere mockneck over a champagne slip dress, giving me plenty of room to down appetizers without feeling uncomfortable. I’m wearing these low nude heels for all three outfits because let’s be real, we’re taking them off as soon as we go inside anyway.

Sometimes, you want to make a statement without making much of an effort, and both this outfit and appetizer have got your back when you do. I snatched up this satin blouse on sale because it reminded me of this gorgeous top from Orseund Iris which is wildly out of my price range, and I paired it with an old favorite plaid knit skirt. Even more of a “wow” than this easy outfit is this spinach and feta tarte soleil, which just sounds fancy. In reality, it’s a simple combination of spinach, feta, and store-bought puff pastry, which is my secret to all easy appetizers.

Confession: I’m terrible at wrapping presents. The corners are always wonky, and somehow there are always bulges. But something about the holidays begs for crisp, clean, picture-perfect presentation, and the easiest way to pull this off is by putting a bow on top. I’m obsessed with this organza top from Zara, which has a ridiculous, floppy bow tie and sheer back. I paired it with some thrifted plaid pants for a casual office party feel. These savory palmiers with black pepper and parmesan are super easy and make for impressive presentation at any dinner party. All you have to do is roll out some puff pastry, sprinkle generous amounts of pepper and grated parmesan, and then roll both sides inwards. Easy and fancy? Count me in. I’m hoping for a stress-free holiday season— with a couple simple appetizers, clothes I already own, and plenty of down time with my loved ones. Happy Holidays!