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Category: Party Style Party Style

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.


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…


Father’s Day Picnic

fathers day picnic

Dad might be the master of grilling, but treat him this father’s day with a little outdoor dining experience that he won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy.

The idea of a picnic sounds so wonderful, and with a few key items, a weekend afternoon is all you’ll need to spoil dad and enjoy some relaxed time together.

picnic for fathers day

This picnic has a bit of an italian flair, bodes well in warmer weather, and packs up  nice and neat in case you have a bit of a walk to your picnic destination.

Garlic stuffed olives and proscuitto wrapped melon are wonderful aside some sandwiches served on crusty Italian bread.  Lemonade for the kiddos and a bit of prosecco for the adults both mesh perfectly with this feast. Include a throw, a few appetizer forks for communal nibbling, and a structured basket that can be used as a table to complete the occasion.

picnic fathers day

picnic father day

fathers day picnic idea

summer picnic

You don’t have to hike too far to enjoy a picnic.  Set up this moveable feast in your backyard and eat under the sun, but not far from any other item you may need.  Enjoy the relaxing time spent together with your dad, grandfather, or husband.  I’m sure he’ll relish the time away from a hot grill!


Single Serve Summer


I feel comfortable saying that summer is in full swing.  I know that technically it doesn’t start until the end of June, but being that memorial day has passed, the temps are rising, and schools are out, I’m counting summer as started.

Of course, summer makes me think of weddings and outdoor parties more than any other time in the year.  I’m a sucker for anything served in mini size or individual portions, so a custom drink accompanied by a straw to sip it with makes me so happy. It is the perfect little portion to serve when you can’t be available to serve each guest on your own.

Here, I used glass jars with corked tops, available here, along with pretty paper straws, all tied neatly together with some twine.

wedding favor drink diptych

individual drink favor

party favor drinks

Any drink looks darling inside a personal jar complete with stripey straw.  The best part is that you can make whatever specialty drink you’d like in a large batch and don’t have to worry about mixing drinks on the spot.  I’ve bottled up a blueberry basil green tea which is perfect for a hot summer day. What would you mix up?

drink favors

This would be an awesome wedding favor idea and would also be so cool for whatever summer party you’re holding at your house.  If you want to get real thrifty, save the glass bottles you use though out the next couple of months and repurpose them into this fun, single serve party idea.

Happy sipping!


Script Copper Wine Toppers

copper script wine corks

There are few things I like more than wine.  I claimed this past weekend that my major food groups were wine, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and coffee.  Aside from my personal feelings about it, I think that a good assortment of wines at a gathering can offer a ton variety while not being fussy.

These script copper toppers are like a pretty peachy color, reminiscent of rose gold and are so easy to make! They’d be perfect for a party during which people are in and out of the wine often and need a heads up as to which variety is which.

I made these four in about 30 minutes as the copper is pretty soft and easy to manipulate.  Copper wire can be found in an art or craft store (mine’s from Blicks). The toppers are just stuck into chiseled down plain corks.  You could use some that already come tapered, or just take a knife to some that you’ve saved like I did.  The trick is that you don’t want the corks to be too tight since the toppers aren’t really to use for pulling, but are more decorative.

twister wire wine corks

wire wine toppers

copper wire wine corks

I, of course, took some liberties with the abbreviations.  You could also just do a generic ‘cheers’ too. There are just a few quick steps  Continue Reading…


Sipping on Sunshine

sipping on sunshine

I’ve been so happy to get so much use out of our patio in just the little bit of time it’s been warm and summery outside.  This weekend provided a few occasions to get festive and believe me, we took advantage.

Last night we had some family and a few friends over to enjoy some of Matty’s smoked pulled pork (which is awesome) and sip on some summery cocktails – Sangria and Mojitos.  Now, it isn’t quite summer yet, but the temps are escalating and something about outdoor cooked meats just gets me in the spirit.

I decided a sort of Caribbean, or mexican style would go well with the smoked pork and be really festive.  I served chips with two types of salsa, some garlic and cilantro grilled corn on the cob, an avocado and black bean salad, and of course, the meat.

outdoor cocktail party - mojitos

outdoor cocktail party - dip tray

It was a great time and the food and beverages were simple, mostly make ahead, and it allowed for a lot of chatting and relaxing.  Chips and salsa were kept cool atop ice in this chip and dip tray. The two beverage recipes both take help from some store bought beverages, ginger ale in the mojitos and good old fashioned (ha) Arbor Mist in the sangria (it really is the best for making sangria).  I served the sangria in a stemless wine glass and the mojitos in a double old fashioned glass, both with block ‘S’ inscriptions, from Red Envelope.

summer cocktails - sangria and mojito

outdoor cocktail party - drinks

We lingered on the patio until it got dark and the bugs started taking too many liberties and then we retreated indoors, but the few hours we spent outside were warm, wonderful, and very sweet!

The Red Envelope items in this post were provided with their complements, but could not recommend them more.  I use the glasses for ever occasion I can because I just love the modern block monogram.  I definitely think I know what I’m getting as wedding gifts for this summer’s weddings!

I hope you all have a great week!


Splurge & Save: Summer Entertaining

splurge and save - summer entertaining


SPLURGE woven sea grass party tub from Williams-Sonoma SAVE oval seagrass galvanized party tub from World Market


I’m all for a good party tub that doesn’t scream ‘plastic cooler’ so when I saw these seagrass versions, it was love at first, wait… second sight.

What do you use to keep bottles and beverages cool during the summer months?  Have a great Thursday guys!!




Candlestick Floral Centerpiece

floral candlesticks

I had so much fun creating these little mini bundles of blooms that I currently have them sitting all around my house.  I love how sculptural and impactful a burst of color is coming out of a thin, tall candlestick.

I had been spotting candlestick floral arrangements in more formal events and have been pinning them here, here, and here, but I wanted to move on the idea to something a little more casual and suitable for our everyday lives.  I used a cluster of these guys in my Mother’s day tea, but one by the bedside, one in the bathroom and a couple on the table means your whole house can be filled with the freshness of flowers with just a few stems.

candlestick flower diptych


It seems so easy, but with the weight of these flowers’ heads, they’d all fall out of the candlestick if it weren’t for my one little trick.  Continue Reading…


Easy as tea

mothers day tea

The notion of a Mother’s Day Brunch isn’t new.  It’s probably even the first thing most people think of for Mother’s Day since women love brunch and all mothers are women.

But, I’ve devised a casual tea-party type brunch with lots of color and pretty elements that not only will be a departure from the quiche and fruit salad of most brunches, but consists of fun, girly food that goes perfect with a spot of tea…

Speaking of tea, since it’s now officially the height of spring, I’ve put together three different types of iced tea beverages for everyone in your group.  Fruit tea is unique here in the north, while a premixed Arnold Palmer makes for easy serving and classic iced tea with lemon is just that – classic.

mothers day tea - brunch

mothers day tea and brunch

mothers day brunch menu

When entertaining in my home, I like to keep things super easy so that I can join in on the fun, so all of the dishes can be premade and served at room temperature.  Each dish doesn’t have more than 4 ingredients and that makes things even easier.

Keep reading for the full recipes and more photos!

Continue Reading…


Sippin’ in Spring – giveaway closed

corksicle giveaway

I was so excited to debut my patio redesign yesterday, that today we’re celebrating outdoor festivities and hosting a fabulous giveaway. Just in time for the springy-summery drinks that make sitting on a patio, porch, or deck so enjoyable, we’re giving away a Corksicle to keep your beverages nice and chilly.

I’m going to blow your mind here, but we don’t have air conditioning, so a bottle of red wine in the summer months around here gets pretty warm.  I used to (gasp) put an ice cube in it, but I don’t have to do that anymore – and neither will you!

corksicle directions

corksicle give a way - house of earnest

The folks at Wine Enthusiast don’t want you to drink warm wine and to show you how much they care, they’re going to throw in a set of the break resistant (perfect for outdoors) glassware to go along with your Corksicle.  Exciting!

Join in the fun and enter by leaving a comment below telling me about your favorite summer beverage! For an additional entry, you can also share this giveaway on facebook or twitter.  Something like “wow, @HouseofEarnest is hosting the cooooolest giveaway” would work lovely!

Ready? Go!

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