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Category: Party Style Party Style

On The Side

on the side

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?

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Please Drink Responsibly

drink responsibly - terracycle

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.

naked grape responsible drinking

naked grape - drink responsibly

the naked grape wine

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!

 

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Skinny Up Summer

summer drink, cocktail, mixed drink, low calorie, low cal

 

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…

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Simple Party Pattern

quick party vase idea

Sometimes, all it takes is a split second to take a regular dinner and make it into a party.  Maybe more people popped by than what you’d planned, or maybe there is just a festive feeling in the air.  Either way, you can take an everyday moment and make it party perfect in the blink of an eye with this little trick.

Just sandwich some fabric, a napkin, paper, or anything between a drinking class and a vase to give your centerpieces some patterned gusto.

party vase color

Custom vase party DIY

ONE fold your fabric to the proper height and circumference of the exterior vase. TWO roll up a drinking glass which easily fits inside the vase with room to spare. THREE insert the glass into the vase.

You now have a vessel to fill with water for your perfect arrangement and a clean look from the exterior.

Perfect, huh?

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Entertaining Basics: Opening Champagne

how to open champagne

I’m not going to lie… it was just about two years ago that I learned how to properly open champagne.  Previously, I always went through the first two steps and then passed it off to my husband and pulled an, “oh honey, could you please get this for me, because I just can’t be bothered”.

It’s surprisingly liberating to not only pull this off solo, but to do it gracefully without losing any bubbles out the top.

There are two big secrets to opening up your bottle.  First, always make sure the bottle is chilled.  The lower temps will keep the carbonation in check and prevent you from having a ton of the good stuff spilling all over.  Just a 30 minute chill in an ice bucket should suffice.  Second is to never, ever use a corkscrew.  letting air into the bottle via a hole in the cork will cause the cork to pop out along with your corkscrew creating a metal and cork missile.

opening champagne

champagne how to

ONE remove the paper from the bottle’s top. TWO untwist the metal cage and remove completely, again, we don’t want flying corks with metal on them.  THREE drape a hand towel over the top of the bottle and firmly grasp the cork and the bottle.  Twist the bottle and the cork in opposite directions, holding the cork firmly, until you hear the soft pop of the cork releasing.

See, now wasn’t that easier than you expected!  TO finish it all off nicely, know that you should pour just about and inch of champagne into the bottle of your glass first, let the bubbles subside, then continue pouring the glass.  This prevents overflow!

Now go wow your friends with your new skill.

 

Want more easy basics of entertaining?  Shoot me a question at erin@houseofearnest.com if you have one and I’ll answer it on this new series!

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Fun with Fireworks + a giveaway

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape

firework table cover

Ok, some might call this tie dye, but I’m calling it fireworks. This washed down blue tablecloth is perfect for covering any folding table, getting your group ready for the 4th of July celebrations this week. It’s MUCH cheaper than buying one and would be a fun project for the kiddos (outside, of course).

The ‘cloth’ part of the tablecloth is actually canvas dropcloth from The Home Depot. It is so much less expensive than buying yardage from the store (shoot, it’s cheaper than a flat sheet) and it comes in squares, rectangles, and ‘runner’ sized (for hallways) but I like to think that size is actually for a banquet 6ft table! A little ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape and some fabric dye (I used RIT navy blue) and that’s all it took.

fireworks table covering

firework tablecloth

firework tablecloth workflow

ONE pinch up a few inches of canvas and form it into a cone. TWO tape the cone together tightly with the painters tape and ensure the bottom of the tape strand is secure. THREE do this all over your cloth. FOUR dunk it into your dye bath and agitate for 15 minutes.

Materials:

  • 6′ x 9′ canvas dropcloth from The Home Depot
  • 1 bottle of liquid RIT dye (you can find this at a craft store or at walmart) mixed with 6 gallons HOT water
  • 1 roll of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape
  • 1 big plastic storage tub (I used an 18 gallon)

fireworks tablecloth

cloth fireworks

I love that the end result is a little less traditional and kind of whimsical. I did a very casual beer and BBQ style dinner to go with the laid back nature of the ‘firework’ tablecloth.

This project is sponsored by ScotchBlue Painters tape and if you guys aren’t inspired to create, maybe a plethora of ideas in the Ready, Set, Paint Blog Hop will help!  A group of bloggers from around the web all got together to show off their stuff and what they could create with ScotchBlue.  What would help you get creative?  Another Home Depot GIFTCARD GIVEAWAY you say?  Well, let’s do it!

We will giveaway $75 to The Home Depot to one lucky reader.
To enter this giveaway, please leave a link to your favorite summer DIY or painting project in the comments below for a chance to win a $75 Home Depot gift card!

Entries must be posted by next Monday, July 8th, at 11:59 p.m. EST, and one winner will be chosen at random.

*Limited to readers in the U.S. only. Entries for this giveaway are made on the House of Earnest comment page and by sharing this giveaway via social media. Winner will be contacted by email once entries close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after. Total retail value is $255. This post was brought to you in partnership with The Home Depot and ScotchBlue Painters Tape. All opinions and creations are my own.

Other projects on the blog hop are here!!!

Centsational Girl – Textured Panel Dresser Makeover
Thrifty and Chic Framed Stencil Wall
The Design Confidential DIY Concrete Color Block Painted Tables
Sand & Sisal Faux Etched Glass
The Girl Creative Summer Chalkboard
PB & J Stories Dipped Effect Outdoor Bench and Front Patio Makeover
In My Own Style How to Paint Outdoor Furniture
Making this Home Embellish with a Paint Border
Rustic Bench Gets Modern Moroccan-Inspired Makeover
DIY Game Table

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tapepainter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape

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Colorful in Texas

Colorful-outdoor-wedding-18

One of my favorite parts of summer is all of the beautiful weddings. I’m getting to the age where I don’t go to as many as I did in my 20’s, but with the wedding flower work I do, I still stay pretty connected to the beautiful events out there.

This week on 100 Layer Cake, I saw this fabulously colorful wedding in Texas and it really caught my eye. I love flowers and I feel that the blooms really were the showstopper – except for the bride, of course!

Colorful-outdoor-wedding-1

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Colorful-outdoor-wedding-30

 

Colorful-outdoor-wedding-3

 

Colorful-outdoor-wedding-20

 

And this is just a peek at the gorgeous event.  Click on over to 100 Layer Cake for the stunning details.

Have a beautiful Thursday!

 

p.s.  The winner of the $250 Home Depot and Bounty giveaway is MOLLY from Flour & Whisk! Congrats, Molly! I’ll contact you via email to get you your giftcard and rolls of Bounty!

p.p.s. For those of you who were disappointed you didn’t win, there might be another opportunity very soon (wink!).

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Patriotic (ice cream) Pops!

red white and blue ice cream bars

This fourth of July, I’ll be soaking in the sun during a couple of days away from the ol’ job and, of course, enjoying some of the quintessential aspects of summer.  One of those things, is a cool, icy summer treat like ice cream… and why shouldn’t ice cream be patriotic?

I made this super easy ice cream by just by layering flavors with a naturally red, white, and blue hue. lining a loaf pan with freezer paper makes them easy to remove and some craft sticks make them easy to enjoy.

red white and blue ice cream

patriotic ice cream bar

It was one of those creations of my mind that I thought, ‘oh, this probably won’t work’… but then it did.  For the full instructions and step by step photos continue on! Continue Reading…

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Splurge or Save: Cabana Style

splurge or save umbrella

 

I have a love/hate relationship with outdoor umbrellas.  On one hand, they’re so darn expensive that I feel like if I’m going to shell out some cash, I’m going to get something great.  On the other hand, we lose about two umbrellas each year to the elements (which I oddly forget each spring).

We’ve already lost one this year, so as I consider my next purchase, I am still on the fence.  Buy low and don’t be upset when the wind takes it into the neighbor’s yard and bends it into a trillion pieces, or buy what looks good (which is inevitably always more).

What’s your take on the patio umbrella?  Buy high like this fabulous cabana style from Frontgate? Or low like this fun and funky chevron style from World Market?

I hope your Tuesday is sunny enough for an umbrella!

 

Don’t forget!!  We have a giveaway going on right now!  You could win $250 in gift cards to the Home Depot! Pop over to the original post and comment to enter.

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Sorbet Squeeze – the color of summer cocktails

sorbet summer drinks

Brights and the contrast they provide with this seasons smooth candy-like sorbet colors are everywhere in fashion and decor. This past Saturday, I set out to put together a pretty garden cocktail party using the same color scheme.  Big bunches of peonies (a total score at the market) and creamcicle colored linens and peach straws brought a soft edge to all of the beautiful color.

summer cocktail recipes

summer cocktails drinks

While guests were invited to make their own cocktail concoction, I also provided a couple of easy recipes to give people a place to start.
Continue Reading…

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