This week’s holiday came a bit early for us yesterday as we shared what we lovingly refer to as “Friendsgiving”, a Thanksgiving celebration with our closest friends. I’m moving a bit slow this morning after hours spent cheers-ing, playing games, and carrying on over loads of food. I stuck to a ‘gilded nature’ look by mixing lots of gold with natural elements. I spray painted some leaves and branches in my favorite gold, I mixed sparkly gold mini-pencils with DIY kraft notebooks for the name cards and the favors (which I’ll be sharing here tomorrow!) and layered together wood serving dishes with gold and white ones.
It worked well with each person contributing a side dish or dessert, because I was able to spend time putting decorative touches on things and less time in the kitchen. We did make the roasted turkey while our friend, Eric, fried one. We had a bar set up with two signature cocktails – both from Snippet and Ink – the Pear Rum Blush and The Ginger Bourbon Fizz. They were so good!
It’s no secret that I love a party. Shoot, entertaining has become part of my DNA. When I wander through the store on my bi-weekly grocery shopping trips, it’s pretty common that I pick up a cheese just with the thought that it would be perfect for a get-together (even when I have no parties in sight)! I usually scheme up some reason to have people over shortly thereafter.
Regardless of my crazy cheese shopping, there are a few things in my life that make these gatherings great, and one is the presentation (followed by great company and wine, of course).
When it comes to presentation, I must use wood. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll see that I use wood in just about every dinner party, cocktail party, or throw-together party that I have. The main reason is that wood pieces are so casual! Either raw or waxed, wood platters and servers add a bit of nature, warmth, and character to any other pieces that you have. It calms down the fancy, it dresses up the everyday. It’s just so versatile.
If you’re ready for a side story, here is one for you. Last year, Target had this amazing wooden tiered server that I was in love with. Under no circumstance did I need another 3 tiered server, but I put it on my Christmas list nonetheless. Christmas came and went and no wooden 3 tiered server. My birthday (which directly follows Christmas) came and went. Still, there was no 3 tiered server. By this point in time, not only did Target no longer have the piece I wanted, but in the running around of the holidays, I’d lost my other 3 tiered server at someone’s house. I deducted that I wasn’t meant to own a 3 tiered server (maybe I wasn’t responsible enough) and I surely didn’t deserve the wooden server and I’d have to move on with my life. Well, I thought about that silly server all. year. long. This fall, when they released another variety, I bought it in an instant.
That’s the long version of the story.
Now onto entertaining – the reason I’m so passionate about wood pieces is the depth and texture variety that if offers to a table, buffet, or bar. It’s like adding instant interest. The little get-together I had this past weekend was so so simple. It just included sliced cheese and fruit with some nuts and various wines, but it was just enough.
So, I’ve clearly talked way too much about my favorite type of serveware. Tell me, what’s yours?
“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.”
I’ve almost been bursting at the seams to share this with you guys. With all of the party style I share here on House of Earnest, this is the first published event that is mine! I’m dumbstruck. Several weeks ago, I instagrammed some sneak peeks of a photoshoot that I was working on with Benjamin Lowry and today, I finally get to share that Style Me Pretty has published our shoot and we are over-the-moon excited.
I had been dying to play with the textures and hues of copper in a wedding setting and had been eager to work with Ben on a wedding shoot as well. I am blessed that not only did I end up with Ben (who does stunning work, no?), but I also got the opportunity to work with some of the absolute best event professionals in my area. The flowers were put together by the amazingly sweet, Mary, from Rose Bredl Flowers + Garden. She donated her time and creativity to our project and hit the nail on the head. The breathtaking invitation suite was hand painted by Yao Cheng and were everything I’d hoped for – airy, earthy, and feminine.
The dress was Romona Keveza from Big Rock Little Rooster and the amazingly gorgeous model donning the gown is Josie of Thank Yoga. I was lucky enough that my favorite hair designer, Stephanie was available to do hair and Milla to donate her time for the makeup – both from Jolie Laide Salon. We had QUITE the group of talent.
I love the soft, coppery colors that were captured mixed with blush and vibrant natural greens. All against the ivory backdrop of lace, I don’t think it can get any better. More pictures to follow! Continue Reading…
Happy October everyone! You may not know that years ago (in college) I claimed October as “my month”, I just love it so so much and my birthday month (January) is a little gloomy in my area. So, I claim October.
I have a wonderful friend who, each October, hosts a chili supper. Although it’s out of state and I can’t usually attend, I love the idea and have thoughts of implementing around this part of the country. Wouldn’t that be so comforting and fun?
This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to speak at a the Country Living fair. Please excuse the iPhone photos, but I thought I’d share a few of the photos with you today and give you a little bit of information on what I spoke about.
I was asked to do a DIY and speak on a topic related to entertaining. I chose to share with the crowd how I brainstorm and prepare for a party – one of my favorite things to do.
I’m sure you guys wouldn’t be surprised to learn that my #1 piece of advice for everyone was to have a ‘theme’. Although I don’t like themes that scream (very obvious themes), I honestly think that having an idea of your direction is imperative for having a party with a consistent vibe. You wouldn’t want to serve margaritas for drinks and sushi for food! Having a ‘theme’ keeps your vision in check and helps when you’re creating a menu to make sure everything stays on the same wavelength. A theme can be as easy as ‘tuscan wine night’ or ‘tex mex’ so long as it helps you choose accessories and food that all work together.
My number two piece of advice is to diversify your menu. Don’t serve 5 things that have to all be baked and served warm. If you do, chances are that one of those dishes will be cold before your guests are ready to eat. Mix ready made goodies (cheese, cured meats, fruits, veggies) and made ahead food with the items you want to make and serve hot.
It’s still really warm here in the midwest this week (upper 80s!) and with all of the late season produce at the peak of amazing, I’ve whipped up a Peach and Mint Iced Tea cocktail to help savor those last bits of summer.
Stone fruits are hitting the pinnacle of ripeness and you can find some really beautiful peaches in the markets this time of year. I eat one everyday with my lunch (a nice switch from the usual apple), but for the still sweltering evenings, this cocktail is just perfect.
The cocktail is easy, but there is one integral piece that makes all the difference – the mint simple syrup. I first made it when trying out Camille’s grapefruit Bellini last summer and fell in love with the flavor and versatility of an herb flavored syrup.
Just bring one cup of sugar and one cup of water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the mint and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is all dissolved and the mixture is not cloudy. Scoop out and discard the mint, then store the syrup in a sealable container in the fridge.
Happy Monday! I’ve spent the last few weeks traveling and now I’m back home, turning my attention to all of the things that will be happening in the next few months. As many of you know, I arrange flowers for events and parties, and although weddings are my absolute favorite, I only take on a couple each year to balance my workload.
This fall, I have the honor and pleasure of designing and arranging wedding flowers for one of my good friends, Amanda and her soon-to-be-husband, Daniel. They are getting married in Savannah, a place I’ve never been but have been itching to visit, and I could not be more excited to dig into this gorgeous wedding.
The mood is natural, slightly vintage with a bit of southern charm. I wanted to share with you my mood board that I have hung above my desk to infuse me with the spirit of the event as I’m doing my planning. We’re using lots of baby’s breath (which adds an air of delicacy to everything) mixed with some other bolder blooms like hydrangeas, garden roses, lavender, and snapdragons. I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to travel to Savannah for this beautiful event and will share the preparation and final details with you as they happen!
There is so much fun to be had on the side of the main (and usually plain) dinner plate. Vibrant patterns, quirky sayings, or just a little something unique will make a table setting really pop. My favorite thing about mixing and matching dessert, salad, or appetizer plates is that you don’t have to make a big investment to make a big impact. The plates above range from $3 up to $48, so everyone can find a little something to add some pop to their plates!
Do you employ this idea for dinner parties? What other dimensional drama do you add to your tables?
Loungy, lazy summer Sundays – complete with snacks and wine - are one of my favorite parts of this season. As the weather dries out and the breeze cools slightly, the environment is perfect for an outdoor Sunday Funday.
It’s crazy to think about how much trash can be accumulated from having a party, and considering the beauty of the surrounding nature, I wanted to create a gathering that was as socially responsible as it was fun. For this reason, I was pretty excited to try out The Naked Grape‘s new Terra-Cycle boxes (yes, boxes) of wine, the first of it’s kind to be 100% recyclable. I had always wondered about Terra-Cycle after seeing their markings on several boxes and I’m impressed about their methods and the sustainability they support.
I wanted to spend some extra time playing in my back yard before I took off to travel around the world, so I put together a quick gathering all with an environmentally friendly flair.
I set up a little snack station in my backyard for friends to help themselves to drinks and food. Acrylic wine glasses and tumblers are reusable and don’t create waste. Local produce adds to the long list of ways that we can create a socially responsible party with lots of fun factor. Guests were able to grab a little nibble and lounge in the lawn with their wine. I choose two varieties, The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio and Cabernet. I prefer Cabernet, but think the Pinot Grigio is such a nice light and crisp summer wine, it went perfectly with a little cheese and fresh peach slices. For more photos of my set up and suggestions for an ecochic party, continue reading!
Firstly, how is it August? I feel like my life is flashing before my eyes. It’s giving me anxiety!
Now that that’s out of the way, I always feel like I dive head first into summer during the months of June and July, indulging in each treat that the warm months have to offer – like I can’t get those things other times of the year (ice cream anyone?). So now that August has popped up (and I’m heading to the lake with friends in 23 days), I get to feeling like I should rein it in and get back on track with a healthier lifestyle that will help me glide into the rest of summer with a lot of energy and not a lot of extra summer poundage. I’m devoting August to a slimming down and getting into a workout routine (which I’ll admit I’ve never really had before). So cheers to that!
I realized on a recent trip to Chicago how good some of these lower cal cocktails can be and decided to share a couple of my favorite recipes with you today! Continue Reading…
Hi, I'm Erin!
House of Earnest is the place for Home Decor, Hand Made Projects and Party Style made easy. My style is simple, natural, rustic and slightly modern. Take a look around, leave a comment and have fun! That's the whole point, right?