Goodness, I love planning parties. I love planning parties almost as much as I love Hawaii. If you’ve talked to me for any length of time, it’s quite likely that I’ve tried to convince you to go to Hawaii. I’ve just been twice, but boy, do I love it. I even snoop around at the real estate here and there! The traces of plumeria that waft through the air create such a sweet and inviting smell. The people are so nice, it’s easy to get around and the sights are out of this world. I don’t have a Hawaiian vacation in my future, nor have a lot of my friends been, so I wanted to bring the best of Hawaii to Ohio (they kind of sound the same!!) for a big summer party. Not only do I have big plans, but I have the perfect party playlist for the event that you can download! Continue Reading…
Happy Tuesday, guys! I hope your morning is off to a great start! Today (and everyday, really) I was looking for some fun new linen cocktail napkins since my old ones are a little weathered. I thought with summer just around the corner, some bright party-ready style would be perfect, but struggled to find some with just the right bit of awesome without restrictive patterns. I found some plain blue ones in my cupboard and thought it was the perfect opportunity to add some festive pizzazz to them instead of buying something new.
I bought the aqua blue napkins a while back but they always struck me as kind of boring, which is why they’d been shoved in the back of my bar, unused. I brainstormed about ways to make them funky and cool for summer entertaining.
All it took was a little bit of neon thread to pump these up into some seriously stylish party accessories. Tassels are super easy to make (although they do take a fair amount of thread) so hop on to see the full tutorial! Continue Reading…
Cinco de Mayo is this next Monday, but I’ll be celebrating this weekend…with margaritas. My favorite drink above all, bar none, is a marg. I drink red wine because it’s better for me and has less sugar, but if I could have a margarita, I’d take it.
This margarita recipe was created one night because my husband, Matt, wanted a liquor drink but said that margaritas were too sweet for him… enter my recipe.
It’s very simple, which means strong, so be careful, but it’s quite delicious. It has just enough sweet to balance the salted rim.
The Perfect Margarita
1.5 oz regular tequila (I like patron)
0.5 oz Patron Citronge (orange liqueur made in mexico)
juice of 2 very juicy limes (or 3 not-so-juicy limes)
1 tsp Agave Nectar
Splash of orange juice
Mix all of the above in a carafe and pour over ice in a salt rimmed glass. To professionally salt the glass, drag a wedge of lime around the rim of each glass, then dip in salt before adding ice and margarita.
I usually double or quadruple this recipe in a carafe for mine and Matt’s ‘Tequila Tuesdays’. Its natural sugar, and tequila, so you know it’s good!
It’s simple, and the perfect mixture of salty and sweet. Enjoy!
I’ve been talking about our Valentine’s day dinner party for a few weeks now, and this weekend it went off without a hitch. I’m here today to show you a few key ways to throw your own Spanish party, and no need to do it on Valentines day – this would make a wonderful summer party idea as well.
Sure, a Spanish party is a bit obscure, but that is the reason I love it. People often wonder what Spanish food is and are overwhelmed by making the choices to throw a unique bash. Think of Spanish food as more Mediterranean than Mexican and you’ll be on the right track. Cured meats, olives, cheeses, almonds, and seafood are all great staples. I made this party about communal eating, flowing wine, lots of flavors and small bites to create a great and interactive party (please excuse my grainy photos – it was dark!).
When it comes to the food, it’s easier than you think to carry out. You don’t need to be a master chef, just pick a few recipes and try them out! I followed a few different tapas recipes from this site, including the Paella. The best thing about Paella is that you don’t have to serve it with any sides! It has rice, sausage, seafood, some veggies…. it’s a one pot wonder meal. If you’re not familiar with spanish wine, you can’t go wrong with a Rioja or Temperanillo
And for the fun stuff – the decor! Keeping the party palette in red, gold, and black is expected, but it helps to really support the theme. You don’t have to go overboard or buy anything cheap from a party store, all you have to do is add a few quirky touches – red roses, black pom poms, rich wood, and gilded gold. I created two easy and quick little DIYs to add personality to my party.
The entire night was rounded out with a sweet treat – heart shaped churros! The churro recipe I used was from Sweet Society and it worked perfectly (photo above)! We nibbled on churros and drank our mexican hot chocolate (obviously not spanish, but I couldn’t resist not serving it with the churros)! Loading up on sweets might have been the fuel keeping us up until 2am playing card games.
I’ve clearly been talking about the Spanish party for the last week now, but I haven’t heard too much from you guys! Is it a type of party you think you’ll try?
As I was beginning to set out the pieces and parts today for the Spanish party I told you guys about a couple of weeks ago, this little theme came together quite nicely and is sure to be pretty once it’s all together.
I want the party to reflect the passionate romance that comes to mind when I think of flamenco, but the warm, communal, rustic sense that you’re in the spanish countryside (side story, I actually went to a flamenco in Spain 15 years ago and didn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I would now… hindsight…). I’m going to make a centerpiece entirely of red roses, which is very ‘Valentine’s Day’ but it’s also what I think of when I think of flamenco – see the correlation?
Onwards… I want my friends and guests to be relaxed, comfortable, and in the robust Spanish mindset. What I love so much about planning parties is trying to create a feeling. To transport someone from the usual and to almost instill an unawareness of what lies outside of the event… to transport someone for a night.
To do this, I’ll go overboard on the red roses, cue the spanish guitar music, pour glasses full of temperanillo, and create a table full of approachable, communally served tapas and paella.
For our Valentines Day dinner party this year, I’m going with a bit of a Spanish flare – paella, tapas, flamenco fan style garland, spanish wine, and so on. The exception to this is the Mexican hot chocolate dippers that I’ll be making to accompany the heart shaped churros I plan to make for dessert. I love the mixture of spicy and sweet in mexican chocolate, so I thought it would make a really cute addition to the party to melt some chocolate onto the honey dippers from my Esselle hostess box.
The attached message, “Love and Chocolate are best served hot” is actually a spin on a german proverb (“love and coffee are best served hot”), but I changed the words a bit for this quirky valentine treat. The back of the tag could easily host a custom sentiment for my guests as well.
The best part is, with the exception of the honey dippers (which you can also find here), you might just have all of the ingredients on hand. Keep reading for the step by step instructions, recipe, and the printable tags! Continue Reading…
For Valentines day each year, I have a dinner party with some of my favorite friends to celebrate the love in our lives. Although I’m not a big fan of gooey romance, that doesn’t mean I don’t like some romance in my life… it just needs to be festive and fun – hence the dinner party.
I like the spanish theme for a few reasons. Mainly because it’s a passionate theme without being over-the-top and secondly because I have a good friend who asks year round for my paella and I feel this is a good opportunity to splurge on a giant skillet of seafood and sausage. It’s not the kind of meal you make for a small crowd.
To help my decorations, the wonderful girls over at esselle sent me their ‘Devyn’ hostess box which is made to create a playful, handmade dinner for two. Since I wanted to take a non-traditional spin on the holiday, I’m using some of the pieces (like the birch votives, the confetti, the gold/white vases, and the cupcake wraps) to support the Spanish vibe. I know it isn’t Spanish, but I am going to use the honey dippers included in the box to make some Mexican hot chocolate dipping sticks so we can drink it with our churros.
I think it all goes to show, that using what you have (or what’s out there in the stores this time of year), can be done with a twist that will surprise your guests and make the night crazy awesome.
As we get closer to the party, I’ll show you guys a few tutorials for the decor and how I plan on using those cupcake sleeves and honey dippers!!
New Years Eve is right around the corner and I’m still a little on the fence about what I’m doing. I know I’ll be wearing this DIY from my post this morning, but as far as the rest, I’m bordering on just having another party at our house, but was a little stumped after my Christmas Eve soiree about what else to pull out of my hat.
I’m not a huge mixed drink person. I love a good champagne cocktail, but stick mostly with red wine. When we have guests and someone wants to know what is in a ‘Bay Breeze’, I wouldn’t be able to help them out. I had my Samsung Tab sitting near the bar last week during Christmas, however, and got a brilliant idea to just use it for an ‘open bar’ concept. For tips on creating a fun, interactive bar with your tablet, I have just a few thoughts. Continue Reading…
Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you’re home, spending some relaxing time with family and friends. I’m preparing for a little cocktail party that I like to have on Christmas eve which incorporates both sides of our families and any friends who wish to stop by.
Since we don’t have children, I always felt like Christmas eve was lacking some sort of spark. We don’t set out milk & cookies for Santa or read “T’was the night before Christmas”, but we still want to do something festive with those we love. So, we started having this cocktail party and made the ‘eve’ about just hanging out and really letting the joy of the season set in with anyone who has the time to swing out to our place. Last year I think we got into playing cards and listening to carols.
This year, I’ve got a full menu planned out with heavy nibbles (mini ham sammys, cheese straws, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, a giant cheese tray, and lots of cookies!). Aside from the food, I like to make a very festive cocktail. It’s really the only night of the year I feel compelled to make my big manly guy friends drink frilly drinks from gold confetti glasses. They might retire to the scotch after a few, but the ‘signature’ cocktail definitely takes a load off my shoulders when it comes to setting up a bar for such a wide range of people who come through.
For my signature cocktail this year, I’m making a Sparkling Cranberry Blush. It’s so easy and SO good. Keep on for the full recipe and some very fun tips to keep the drink festive!
I don’t love poinsettia’s. I don’t know why, they just seem antiquated to me and remind me of times gone past… but not in a great way. They can still be done well (a full poinsettia tree would be awesome!), but for a party, you can make a much better option.
I used just a couple of everyday blooms to get this simple, but seasonal look. Roses and tulips, along with a couple of more seasonal fillers and greens – spruce, red berries, and eucalyptus – look gorgeous together. With just these five pieces, and the same exact tips I used on my ‘market bunch’ tutorial, you can get a really beautiful arrangement for the holiday that is a little more modern than the norm.
As always, having fresh flowers in my house is a must. The great part about going the extra mile to put together a custom arrangement is that the blooms bought make more than just one bouquet. With the flowers I bought, I was able to make a large arrangement for the kitchen (shown here), a small arrangement for the bar, a vase full of tulips for my bedside table, and two bud vases for the bathroom and office. Now, that’s getting my $15 worth!
Tell me, do you buy individual blooms to create your own bouquet? Do you think you’ll give it a try now?
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?