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Category: Party Style Party Style

White Gourd Placesetting DIY

fall dinner party name card diy

When it comes to dinner parties, I like to think outside the dining room sometimes to create a more magical experience for our friends.  I’ve always wanted to do a big outdoor sit-down dinner, but various technicalities have gotten in the way.  This year, it’s happening.  I built a table (more on that later) and have been starting the planning process.

outdoor dinner party fall fall tablescape

One thing I knew I wanted to include were some white name card holders.  Although actual white pumpkins can be used, they’re fairly pricey and don’t last super long once cut.  I made a very sleek, modern version using some run-of-the-mill foam pumpkins from the Home Depot.

fall dinner party outside fall name card

The result is a beautiful, serene tablescape that isn’t a cacophony of color (which you know isn’t my thing). The white gourds lend themselves well to the other colors incorporated in the table and won’t compete with any of the other decor.  The best part is that since they’re faux, they’ll last throughout the whole season and I can use them all of the way through Thanksgiving.

It’s a super easy project that I’m almost embarrassed to call a ‘DIY’ but sometimes it’s the little things, right?  Let’s go!  Continue Reading…

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Pumpkin Spice Kahlúa Ice Cream

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Fall is in full swing, which means pumpkin everything. I take every opportunity I humanly can to incorporate fall flavors into everything this time of year and no food or drink is off limits! In Ohio, it’s still pretty warm during the days which makes ice cream a perfect treat for basking in the weekend harvest sunlight.

You guys might remember my method for ‘making’ ice cream and how I don’t really make it at all.  I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I take a fabulous short-cut that allows for infinite customizations.  As I plan out the menu for an upcoming harvest party I’m planning, I wanted to stay away from pies and cakes since I’ll make those later in the fall season (just wait!).  I really wanted to incorporate something sweet, light, and cool – the perfect treat for after a hearty dinner.  Adding in the coffee and rum flavors of Kahlúa is perfect for our crowd too.  Who doesn’t love a little after dinner liqueur?

kahlua pumpkin spice icecream pumpkin ice cream

What’s even better is that this recipe has a whopping four ingredients.  Roll up your sleeves and let’s make some fall ice cream!  Continue Reading…

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‘That’s My Jam’ Canning Party – Pt 1

fall farmers market

I think one of the things I love so much about fall is that it’s the season we seem to mingle so well with nature.  People revel in apple picking, pumpkin patches, and farmer’s markets.  I wanted to take advantage of this festive time, so I’m planning a JAM party for my girls!  I’ve divided the ‘party’ into two steps since I know canning can be pretty time consuming and tedious.

Step one is farmer’s market shopping.  Each friend lives on a different side of town and has their preferred market.  Everyone also has different preferences on food!  I armed each friend with a custom tote that reads, ‘That’s my JAM” (haha).  I made the totes last week on the iPhone app, Makr, and they arrived just in time to give one out to each girl with the challenge to return this weekend with a bag full of fall produce.

fall apple picking

I set out on the same assignment and picked up some Jonathon apples, pears, green beans, and tomatoes.

Step two will be this weekend! Continue Reading…

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A Whimsical Berry Wedding

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I am so excited to share last weekend’s wedding with you all today!  You can see from my pre-planning post, we were going toward levels of berry mixed together with tons of silvery green eucalyptus for a woodsy, whimsical look.  It was the perfect mix of moody and bright hues for an August wedding.  There was an earthiness to color palette even through we included a lot of purple and pink.  The wedding and reception were held at an old train station which has since been repurposed as an event space.

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Not only did we do the traditional bouquets and table arrangements, but we also constructed two thirty foot garlands for the altar area, which we then moved to the tuscan style head table for the reception.  All of the photos were done by Brad Young. Keep on reading for more and more photos of the event!

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Sunday Brunch with Sangria Bar

sunday sangria bar

Everyone loves a good Sunday Funday, right? For me, there is something about a sunny sunday that makes me want to lounge around with friends and indulge a little.  Indulging a bit means letting the food and drink be easy, but good with a little help from the store. I’m a big fan of using bought items to ease the stress of a get together, especially one of this sort.

To create an easy, but still stunning fete, create one (all you need is one) focal point that creates a memorable and interactive feeling. Here, I’ve created a little sangria bar to be the main attraction.  Since we’re keeping things easy here, I used store-bought Yellow Tail Sangria and posted a handwritten sign encouraging everyone to try the sangria a few different ways!  Juices, sparkling water, fresh herbs, and champagne are all wonderful elements to mix and match, enabling each person to find their favorite way to enjoy a custom sangria.

Since sangria isn’t too heavy in alcohol, it can be enjoyed throughout the afternoon without a full hearty meal, but instead with a few brunch favorites to nibble on.

sangria brunch

easy bruch menu

I’m a big believer in serving just a few things and serving them in large amounts to people feel like they can really dig in.  I think that unless you’re having a potluck, there shouldn’t be a gazillion choices. Too many items increases the work you have to do and creates the same anxiety for guests as being in a restaurant with too big of a menu.

One big, savory quiche was the only thing I made at home, but I made it a big one!  All of the other treats were purchased, but presented on pretty platters and in abundant quantities.  Fresh fruit, bakery pastries, and a full cheese plate are enough to create a big meal for anyone.

sangria bar brunch

sangria party

sunday bruch with sangria

You should enjoy your own gathering!  Planning a quick, easy, but still polished event can be done with a little planning, a narrow menu, and the help of a few purchased goodies.

Savor every element of your next brunch!

 

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

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Summer Movie Nights!

movie night

I am home in Ohio and am going to hit the ground running after spending a relaxing weekend in Nashville.  This week we are starting something which I hope will be very fun and grow to be a friend favorite.

We are beginning a ‘Summer Movie Series’ which we’ll have every week at exactly the same time, outside in our yard.  We were throwing around the idea loosely at first, and then we just kept going further and further with elaborate treats to eat, high tech (or low tech) ways to put together the outdoor sound, and of course, what movies we’ll watch and how they’ll be picked.

Since I’ve been out of town for the last five weekends, I haven’t started the planning phase, but I’m jumping in this week.  Of course, I’ll keep you on the up and up with the decorations and how I’ll organize the lounging.

The men, however, have been feverishly putting together desired titles and genres. Everything from horror to comedy to chickflicks is involved, but the one commonality is that every movie we’re choosing is somewhat of a cult classic (to our generation, at least). Everything we were throwing out fell under a few categories:

chick flicks from the 80s horror nostalgia

My biggest stipulation is that the movie must be appealing and attention grabbing for both the girls and the guys to avoid one of the groups peeling off one by one and congregating at the bar, turning the night into just a plain old party and the movie falling off the radar.

Although ‘Nostalgia’ is a pretty big category, it’s mostly the male version of chickflicks and some general all around goodness. We didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg here, but it’s not as easy as it seems!

Take a try!  Which movie would you love to see during an outdoor movie night?

 

 

p.s. we start this Friday!  If you’re local, email me and I can give you details!

 

photo: The Urban List

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Firework Fringe Party Garland

watercolor party garland

We’re almost in full party mode over here!  Just one more day of work then it’s off to Nashville for some quality summer vacation time.  We’re heading to Matt’s aunts house for the holiday and I plan to bring with me a little decor for the festivities.

This red, white, and blue party garland turned out even better than I had imagined in my head.  It’s full and fluffy fringe makes it look impressive and although it takes a few steps, they’re all super easy.  You’ve got a few days to prepare, so let’s get to it!

fringe party garland 4th of july party garland

The dye effect on the tissue is easily achieved with a common household item, so after a quick $2 trip to get some tissue, you’ll be well on your way to creating this awesome Forth of July party garland!

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Authentic Summer Luau Party

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I have been bursting at the seams to share the outcome of our luau with you!  I’m sure you saw the sneak peeks on Instagram over the weekend, but today I have so many photos all taken by the amazingly talented Allie Lehman who was able to capture us having time best time.

I shared with you guys a month ago what my vision was for the party.  I am obsessed with all things Hawaii, so I wanted to bring the things that I love most about the islands to my friends and family in Ohio.  We teamed up with Pier 1 Imports on the project, sourced some perfect accessories, and were able to create exactly the look I was hoping to achieve – a very classy, non-cheesy, traditional style hawaiian luau.

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When I told people I was having a luau, reactions ranged from people thinking it was the cheesiest theme-y idea ever to people asking if I was wearing a grass skirt (neither happened).  I pulled inspiration from the island feeling that I have when I travel to Hawaii with an aim to create a sunny, relaxed, natural, and rustic atmosphere.  I pulled colors and textures from that of nature rather than that of a party store.  Bright hues came from the tropical flowers and fruits that we decorated with.  I loved Jenn’s idea of using a pineapple as a vase, which is an obvious tie-in to the tropical table.

Mai Tai’s (my absolutely favorite tropical drink) were adorned with fringy umbrellas and a giant wedge of pineapple.  Fresh orchid leis certainly put everyone in the aloha spirit.  There are so so so many photos of all the many details.  Keep on reading for tons more details!

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Chicken & Waffle Appetizer Bites

chicken and waffles appetizer

Boy, are you guys gonna love this one! I got the idea from a friend of a friend, but put my own twist on this perfect appetizer.  Making the traditional chicken and waffles in a mini, bite sized version adds to the appeal of such a well-loved dish.

With a skewer in each bite, they turn into an appetizer perfect for grabbing and grazing.  A maple-sriracha glaze finishes them off wonderfully.

mini chicken and waffles chicken appetizers

The recipe is simple enough, grab some frozen popcorn chicken and cook according to the package directions.  Top them onto toasted mini waffles and drizzle with a mixture of one half maple syrup and one half sriracha.

summer appetizer chicken and waffles

I suggest making these chicken and waffle bites for a party where you need hearty snacks or heavy hors d’oeuvres since you could make a meal of these and I promise your friends will want to do just that.

 

Have fun and enjoy!

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Luau Party Planning + The Hunt

One of my favorite things about planning parties is looking for items that will be exactly perfect for the feeling I’m hoping to create.  I talked about it when I shared my idea for a Luau themed party, but I am die-hard about not making this a hokey, grass skirt type event.  I want the dinner party to be as close to a traditional Hawaiian luau as humanly possible (except for the above awesome fringy drink umbrellas… they’re not really authentic, but they’re too cute to pass up).

My desire to have an authentic style luau is why I chose some of the accessories for my party that I did. I was by no means going to hit up the party store, so I stared the hunt at Pier 1 with my eyes peeled for natural colors and natural, tropical textures to help support the theme.  Now, I know that Hawai’i has tons of gorgeous color, but I’ll be getting all of my color through the best avenue – flowers.  Loads of tropical flowers (including fresh orchid leis!) will be used as centerpieces and, of course, around my guests necks as a traditional Hawaiian welcome.

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Finding the absolute perfect items takes a bit of hunting… especially with the very narrow scope I was going for, but it’s the hunt that makes it so fun, right?  I couldn’t quite find a tablecloth with the texture that I was looking for, so I thought outside of the box and decided to use curtain panels which happened to be the perfect size for a six foot banquet table (coincidence? I think not). The rattan woven chargers I found added the perfect dose of texture as well and balanced out the green trellis plates (which are melamine!).

side note: have you ever stayed in Hawaii at a more ‘local’ establishment?  There is a certain kind of hand embroidered bedspread at all of the B&Bs I’ve encountered which looks just like these plates!

I am loving what I have so far.  Like I said above, it’s all so natural, I think once the tropical flowers go in it will be totally Hawaiian.  It was a fun experience to put the entire look together!

How do you like the direction so far?  Is it keeping up with the direction I set out to achieve? I cannot wait to style the entire party!

 

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1.

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