Hey girl hey! My name is Melissa Kilner (middle name Mae). My short story? I’m a photographer, mom of 3 (with two pups), and I’m on a quest to help men and women everywhere feel confident, brazen, and empowered in their own skin. Want the long version (including all of my deepest darkest secrets)?

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Easy Cocktails for Hosting

I love me a good celebration. Any excuse to dress up, meet new people, start a dance party or two? Sign. Me. Up. Lucky for me, I have fabulous friends who are incredible kick-ass hosts and have taught me a thing or two over the years. Before I knew better, I thought being a good host was having a”my home is your home” attitude. When guests would arrive I would point them to the kitchen or bar cart and insist that they help themselves. And then I started paying attention as a guest myself, and I realized I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go into someone’s home and start rooting through their kitchen. Then again, I certainly don’t want to bartend complicated cocktails all evening. Hence, the birth of this list. Everything here is simple, easy, and doesn’t need to be measured. I created some simple diagrams so you can pin or save those for easy reviewing! Welcome to the party my friends! Cheers!!



This is the easiest cocktail to kick off the night.
1.Drop a handful of pomegranate arils in the bottom of a champagne flute
2. Fill the glass 1/3 the way with juice (this is great to do a head of time, that way when your guests arrive, just finish it with step #4 & 5 )
3. Fill the rest of the way with champagne



Tequila is my spirit animal. It’s my go-to. And as much as I love a classic margarita, it’s nice to mix it up. A traditional Paloma is made with fresh grapefruit juice and club soda, but for the sake of time, my sanity, and party planning, we are simplifying.

1. Run a cut lime along the rim of your glass and dip in salt (I originally tried using pink Himalayan salt because it was pretty. You guys, DON’T DO THAT. It was SO bad. haha)
2. Fill with ice
3. Fill 1/3 of the way with tequila (sometimes I’ll go half if I’ve had a crazy week)
4. Fill remainder of glass with grapefruit soda (Fresca, Squirt, that kind of thing)
5. Garnish with grapefruit wedge
6. Cheers!

Old Fashioned

I feel like this is the most controversial recipe I’m going to post. The internet has it’s opinions on how to make a proper old-fashioned. I GET IT. I love a beautifully crafted old-fashioned. But lets be real, if I’m making more than two at a time, this is how I’m going to do it.

1. Add 1 tsp. or so of simple syrup to glass
2. Give a few dashes of bitters
3. Stir
4. Drop in ice (I love the giant ice cubes for this one)
5. Pour in bourbon
6. Throw in a piece of orange peel
7. Cheers!

Dirty White Mother

I love this cocktail for so many reasons. First, the name. I mean, anytime I can ask my husband to make me a Dirty White Mother (with a wink, naturally), I can’t help but smile. In fact, it’s what I served MY Mom at my Christmas party last weekend (I don’t know if she thought it was as funny as I did). On top of all of that, it’s DELICIOUS. This is the kind of cocktail I’ll have in place of a dessert. It’s creamy, sweet, and the perfect end to a winter evening.

1.  Fill glass with ice
2. Fill 1 part Kahlua, 1 part Brandy
3. Top off with cream
4. Stir
5. Cheers!

(If you want to get fah-ncy with this one, garnish it with some whipped cream and shaved chocolate)









  1. Mika says:

    These all are awesome! Replace that cream in the Dirty White Mother with Eggnog and you’ve got a Dirty White Christmas! Eggnog with Kahlua or other coffee booze is my December favorite.

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