July 2, 2015 | no comment

DRESS UP YOUR ICE CREAM SANDWICHES | 4th OF JULY

ice cream introOkay, Friends – this is going to be your SIMPLE go-to dessert recipe for the weekend.  Neighbors stop by after the parade – perfect!  Kids want a little treat after the 4th of July BBQ – perfect!

Everyone loves ice cream, and it’s the perfect treat for when you have been outside all day.  Dress up your store-bought ice cream sandwiches with red, white and blue sprinkles for a very festive, and dare I say, “fancy” 4th of July dessert!  To create these, I simply filled a bowl with patriotic sprinkles, unwrapped my ice cream sandwiches and rolled the edges in the sprinkles. Simple, fast, and it’s even a job you can pass off to your kids to help!

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June 30, 2015 | one comment

4th OF JULY PARTY CRACKERS | FREE PRINTABLE

CRACKERS INTRO
Are you hosting a 4th of July party this weekend?  I have a fun little “freebie” for you today!  Send your guests home with a paper cracker full of candy or small gifts. These are super simple to make, and I’m even including a free printable label for you below.

Here’s the how-to: save your empty toilet paper rolls, fill them up with candy/small gifts, and then wrap in a sheet of tissue paper.  Tie each end with ribbon and wrap with our free printable label.  Super simple, yet oh, so stylish!  Have fun! (click on the image of labels below for the free download)

crackersCRACKER FREE DOWNLOAD (web)

June 29, 2015 | no comment

SUMMER PARTIES with PAMA LIQUEUR | ENTER TO WIN

PAMA_Celebrate Summer

This post was sponsored by Heaven Hill Distilleries, Heaven Hill Family of Brands. Bardstown, KY © 2015

Happy Monday, Friends!  I’m so excited to share some great news with you today.  I am partnering with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur to share some great ideas for summer entertaining.  There are so many opportunities to throw a stellar event during the summer, and I love supplying you with as much inspiration as possible.  This weekend, I am hosting a Patio Party/BBQ and have created a Pinterest Board for you to follow along as I start planning.

PAMA Liqueur captures the complex, sweet yet tart taste and seductive ruby color of all-
natural pomegranates. PAMA is made with all-natural pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a touch of imported tequila. PAMA is known for its ruby red color and its delicious flavor, making it the perfect compliment to summer parties!

pama pinterest boardHere’s the fun part: PAMA wants you to get in on the entertaining fun too!  They are hosting a contest on their website (click here), where you can create a summer entertaining pinterest board, and the winners will receive the chance to make their summer party come to life, with some help from PAMA. There will be one grand prize winner and four runners up. The prizes include:

  • Grand Prize Winner: $500 gift card and PAMA party kit to throw a summer party
  • Runners Up: $250 gift card and PAMA party kit to throw a summer party

So set up your Pinterest board, and head over to PAMA’s website to enter!  Fun, right?!

Stay tuned for details from my PAMA Patio Party soon on the blog!

PAMA Celebrate Summer Contest. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Starts on 6/22/15 at 12:00:00 p.m. ET and ends on 7/20/15 at 11:59:59 a.m. ET. Open to legal residents of 50 UnitedStates and D.C., who are at least 21 years of age and older. Void where prohibited. For complete Official Rules, visit PAMALiqueur.com/CelebrateSummer. Sponsor:Heaven Hill Brands, 1064 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY40004.

 

June 27, 2015 | no comment

STRAWBERRY PUREE ICE CUBES | 4th of JULY COCKTAIL

star ice cube cocktail copyLadies, I have something FUN to share with you today!  I love adding a nod to true Americana style to just about every summer event.  Red, white and blue just screams SUMMER to me, and with the 4th of July quickly approaching – it adds a touch of patriotic prep to my celebrations.  A good mimosa is my drink of choice, and I wanted to find a way to incorporate these loves into my weekend brunch.  So, instead of serving up a classic mimosa, this weekend, I’m serving up a strawberry bellini, complete with star-shaped ice cubes.

I pureed strawberries in my food processor, and froze them into star ice cube molds.  Add them to a glass of champagne or prosecco, along with a few blueberries and you have yourself a delicious and patriotic cocktail!

June 26, 2015 | no comment

4th OF JULY PREPPY TABLESETTING

flag tablesettingSet a preppy patriotic tablesetting for your 4th of July celebrations by combining a few key patterns: navy stripes, red polka dots and a classic American flag (I found these at Party City)!

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June 25, 2015 | no comment

ACCESSORIZE 4th OF JULY COCKTAILS

umbrellasSometimes you just need one little accessory to make your holiday style “pop!”  These American flag drink umbrellas from Party City are PERFECT for this.  Add them to cocktails, to kids fruit punch – everyone loves a little patriotic cheer! And if you are looking for a simple tip to keep your umbrellas sitting pretty, add a blueberry onto the stick so it provides a shelf for your glass!

June 24, 2015 | one comment

CHINOISERIE COUNTRY TABLESETTING | 4th OF JULY

DSC_0367I absolutely LOVE entertaining in July.  The weather is finally good here in Chicago, and with 4th of July quickly approaching, I can pull out all of my red, white and blue and entertain in pure Americana style.  For a dinner party this weekend, I’m setting the table with a classic red gingham tablecloth, my chinoiserie blue and white plates, cobalt wine glasses, and linen napkins from MADISON with a modern blue striped monogram.

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June 22, 2015 | 3 comments

GINGHAM CHECK FIRST COMMUNION

gingham check first communionWorking with my custom party planning clients is truly one of my favorite parts of my job.  My clients invite me into their families, to help them plan a memorable event – a baptism, birthday party, bridal or baby shower, and in this case a First Holy Communion.  Held in Florida, we wanted to give the event a crisp, sunny color palette, and use classic haberdashery patterns for a masculine look.  A gingham check invitation design was born, and set the tone for the rest of the party.  (PS – our gingham check invitation is available in the shop in 8 different color ways!)

INVITATION

The event had a very classic feel to it, and there are some steal-worthy ideas that would be perfect to incorporate into a summer party.  Some of my favorite details include:

  • Guests were welcomed to the event with a sweet placecard display. Lollipops (with the guests’ names and table no. were placed on stickers) stood at attention in pots full of green moss.
  • During the cocktail hour, guests sipped on sweet tea in cups personalized with stickers and our foil-stamped straw flags. Cocktail napkins, stamped with a custom message added a personalized touch.
  • Our custom fabric, in a coordinating blue and white gingham check, was made into table toppers for the round tables and featured a yellow pom pom trim. The tables featured two different centerpieces from Flowerama: a gorgeous white lantern from Pottery Barn, wrapped in a white hydrangea wreath and a yellow vase full of “happy” daisies and yellow billy balls.
  • The kids had their own special table, also dressed in a gingham check runner, with big yellow balloons soaring above it.  We hung a “God Bless Marco” chair sign at the head of the table, for the man of the hour.
  • The dessert table carried out the sunny blue, yellow and white color palette with a yellow striped custom fabric backdrop, yellow candy including small bags of jelly beans accessorized with gift stickers, a gorgeous cake incorporating the gingham check pattern by Cakes by Pink, cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes, gingham check chocolate-covered oreo cookies from Sweeties by Kim, and a pennant banner that hung across the front.
  • As a keepsake for the communicant, we created a custom guest book, including photos of the young man and his family, along with pages for guests to write him a special note.

 

Marco_Reception_002Marco_Reception_033Marco_Reception_038Marco_Reception_039Marco_Reception_027Marco_Reception_031Marco_Reception_029Marco_Reception_025Marco_Reception_006Marco_Reception_020Marco_Reception_010Marco_Reception_005Marco_Reception_015Marco_Reception_016Marco_Reception_047Images by Stacey Woods Photography

June 19, 2015 | one comment

MONOGRAMMED WATERMELON | SUMMER HOSTESS GIFT

watermelon introRemember that iconic phrase from the classic movie, Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon”?! Make this your go-to motto for summer hostess gifts, buy gifting my oh, so simple monogrammed watermelon to your host!  Everyone loves a watermelon; it’s inexpensive, delicious and can typically serve a small army.  So it’s the perfect thing to bring when someone invites you over for a summer BBQ or pool party.

To jazz it up, I used a small pumpkin-carving knife to carve out the initial of our hosts’ last name.  It’s cute, personalized – and literally took me under 2 minutes to do! Simply draw out the letter(s) you want to carve out, use a small carving knife to edge out the letter, and rock the pieces back and forth until they come loose.

watermelon stepsEveryone loves something personalized. Trust me, you are going to wow your friends with this one!

watermelon detail

June 17, 2015 | one comment

STARS + GINGHAM | PATRIOTIC GIFT PACKAGING

patriotic packaging4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I always use it as an excuse to host some summer parties, and put together gifts for friends and neighbors. These cellophane bags with white stars on them from Party City are perfect for packaging food gifts or party favors, and look especially patriotic accessorized with our navy blue gingham gift stickers!

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