December 9th, 2015 |

BREAKFAST with SANTA | DONUT BAR

invitationCreating a little Christmas magic for the little ones in my life is always a goal for the holiday season.  This year, I want to host a “Breakfast with Santa” party – complete with our darling Santa party invitation, festive tablesetting, a donut breakfast bar, and Santa mug party favor.

A classic red and green color palette looks fresh against a crisp white backdrop.   Here are a couple of my favorite details to look for in the photos:

  • Our “Santa” party invitation is one of my all-time favorites.  It could be used for a variety of Christmas events, and I love the simplicity of it and the preppy stripes on the back.  You will see we play off the stripes in a few different places, like on the kids plates, and on the banner hanging above the donut bar.
  • Our tablesetting contained a couple of festive elements: a personalized melamine plate that also served as a party favor, and a white napkin tied up with a red bow and big red jingle bell.
  • The theme dictated a breakfast menu, so a donut bar was in order!  I used my white cake stands to serve up different types of donuts, many of which were basic store-bought donuts I embellished myself with a little frosting and sprinkles!
  • I used a red and white stripe banner from Target as the backdrop for the donut bar, and used 2″ silver foil letter stickers to spell out “believe” on the pennants.
  • My favorite item on the donut bar were the cello bags full of powder sugar donuts with our santa sticker labeling them “snowballs.”
  • We sent guests home with a charming Santa mug from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s, tied up with cellophane and our big “special delivery” foil-stamped gift tags.

tablesettingDSC_0474DSC_0477donut barDSC_0456DSC_0461DSC_0458DSC_0464DSC_0462party favor

November 20th, 2015 |

MIXED METALS THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE

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Thanksgiving to me is more than a big meal shared with family and friends.  It’s time to reflect on the things for which I am most thankful and also the official kick-off to the holiday festivities.
My parents host a big Thanksgiving dinner, so I love hosting a smaller intimate “friendsgiving” with my nearest and dearest a week or two before the official turkey day.
DSC_0491This year, I decided to set a gorgeous table featuring mixed metals to highlight my favorite “Country Estate” dinnerware from Juliska.  The plates are a gorgeous ivory with shades of grey, so I layered the table with a grey and white greek key patterned table runner, pewter chargers(featuring a darling message across the top), ivory napkins, and bronze wishbone napkin rings from Pottery Barn. To add a touch of glam, I pulled out my favorite Waterford crystal goblets.
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I decided against the traditional floral centerpiece, and created a “looks elaborate, but was really so simple” centerpiece of hurricanes filled with mini white pumpkins, and faux persimmon branches and greenery. The candlelight added a gorgeous warmth to the table!
My Thanksgiving menu is pretty traditional, and includes:
  • Turkey
  • My grandmother’s stuffing
  • Pureed cauliflower (vs mashed potatoes this year!)
  • Roasted vegetables (including brussel sprouts, butternut squash, mushrooms & bacon)
  • Creamed Corn
  • Apple Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

DSC_0483I have so much to be thankful for this year: a loving husband and adorable 2 year old son, a supportive family that all lives within 5 minutes of us (and a new niece to love on!), friends I adore, and a thriving business.  This is the good stuff!  And I’m especially thankful I get to take the time to cheers! to all of these things and spend time with those I love over Thanksgiving.

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Speaking of cheers’ing…. Since our Thanksgiving meal is fairly “heavy”, this year I will be serving up two staples in my house: a crisp white wine, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  It’s light and refreshing, and makes for the perfect accompaniment to the meal. I will be accessorizing my bar cart with our foil-stamped “gobble gobble” cocktail napkins to add a touch of whimsy to the evening.
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I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving and look forward to celebrating the holiday season with all of you!  Cheers!
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
October 12th, 2015 |

TRICK or TREAT PARTY | SIMPLE HALLOWEEN SWEETS

trick or treat introHalloween is such a fun holiday, especially for kids! With the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, it offers up the opportunity to host a little party.  One of my favorite ways to entertain for Halloween is to invite neighbors over for sweets before trick-or-treating. Our pumpkin stripe party invitation is the perfect way to invite your guests – full of stripes, pumpkins and candy corn.

Halloween can give Mamas a to-do list a mile long, between costumes, school parties, candy for trick-or-treaters, etc. The idea of baking sweets for a party may be daunting enough for you to pull the plug on the idea.  Don’t let it!  Here are a couple tips for creating a clean, stylized presentation of store-bought goodies:

  • Create a clean look by using all white, black and orange sweets
  • Display all of your goodies on white cake stands and serving pieces, dress up one or two of them with an orange bow
  • Embellish store-bought vanilla cupcakes with a candy corn pumpkin, brownies with candy corn, and make sure you pick up some of the Halloween Oreo cookies!
  • Fill up little candy cups or baking cups with candy corn for little hands to grab
  • Use foam letter stickers (available at your local craft store) to embellish milk bottles or glasses with “boo” or the kids’ names.

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October 6th, 2015 |

HALLOWEEN PAPER GOODS

pumpkin stickerOctober marks the start of Halloween celebrations and we’ve got you covered with preppy, festive paper goods. From party invitations to gift tags and cocktail napkins, we have the perfect accessories to dress up your classroom party, neighborhood gathering or haunted house!

Personalize yours today at whhostess.com.

halloween productsorange tagwitch stickerblack trick or treat tag

September 23rd, 2015 |

WH HOSTESS | FOIL-STAMPED COCKTAIL NAPKINS

cocktail napkinsWe love stocking our shelves with entertaining essentials so we’re ready to welcome guests at a moment’s notice. Custom cocktail napkins from WH Hostess are a simple, yet stylish way to add a personal touch to your dinner party, birthday party, baby or bridal shower, and other special occasions.

WIth 22+ napkin colors, 15 different foil ink colors, and 30+ preppy modern designs from WH Hostess to choose from, you can create a custom, personalized napkin perfectly suited to your specific celebration or personal style. They also make a fabulous gift!

pineapple napkin category pink foil napkin square napkins square

September 3rd, 2015 |

END OF SUMMER ENTERTAINING

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Celebrating the end of summer with friends and family is a tradition in this house! This year, we hosted a sunflower dinner party and I have some great ideas and recipes to share with you today.  I hope you can pull some inspiration from it for your own gatherings.
Since the weather here in Chicago has been BEAUTIFUL this week, I set the table out in our sunroom.  The crisp white wainscot on the walls makes for the perfect backdrop for just about any color palette I want to play with.  My blue and white plate collection on the wall, and desire to use sunflowers for the centerpiece, led me to a blue, white, yellow and green color palette for the tablesetting.
placesettingI set the table using blue and white striped placemats, my basic white dinner plates, and a blue and white quatrefoil print napkin.  To add that special touch, I placed mini flower pot placecard holders on each plate.  I used a 1″ scallop circle punch and yellow scrapbook paper to create the name tags.  To create the centerpiece, I filled my favorite rose bowl vase with giant sunflowers from the farmer’s market and flanked the vase with navy blue oversized candlesticks.
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I welcomed my guests with a signature cocktail for the evening: a strawberry rubarb lemonade cocktail using Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  I served them up in stemless champagne flutes, garnished with a green gingham straw and a slice of lemon, along with my pineapple foil-stamped cocktail napkins.

Strawberry Rubarb Lemonade Cocktail Recipe:

(makes 2 cocktails)

1 bottle Mike’s Hard Lemonade
6 strawberries
1 lemon
1 handful of rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Instructions:
Chop the strawberries and handful of rhubarb, and place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, and sugar.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar melts, squeeze in the juice from the lemon and remove from the heat.  Strain the liquid thru a fine mesh sieve and pour it into a glass with Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  Garnish with a slice of lemon.
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For dinner, I served up two of my favorite summer dishes: an heirloom caprese salad with tomatoes from my garden, and a lemon garlic salmon dish.  This salmon dish has been my go-to all summer long and I must share it with you!  It’s simple, fresh, healthy and turns out great every single time!
salmon recipe

Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe

(serves 2-3 people)
1 lbs sockeye salmon
2 lemons
4 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves garlic
Salt & Pepper
Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat and squeeze the juice of two lemons into the butter.  Add chopped/crushed garlic and simmer for a minute or two, and then remove from the heat.
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place your salmon on top.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and then pour the lemon butter sauce on top.  Fold your aluminum foil up around the fish to completely tent it, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Once you remove it from the oven, plate it and pour some of the remain butter mixture from the pan on top, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
To recreate this look: placemats, dinner plates, napkins, napkin rings (crateandbarrel.com), flower pot placecard holders (kateaspen.com), pineapple foil-stamped napkin (whhostess.com), crystal rose bowl vase (tiffany.com), navy blue candlesticks (homegoods.com), blue plate collection (some via horchow.com)
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
July 13th, 2015 |

SUMMER PATIO PARTY | PAMA LIQUEUR COCKTAIL RECIPE

patioDSC_0987A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had partnered with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur to host a “Summer Patio Party” in celebration of their BIG summer Pinterest contest going on this month.  PS – Have you entered yet?!  I’m back today to share the photos from my Patio Party, along with a couple fun food ideas, and a fabulous cocktail recipe from PAMA.

I invited my guests for the Summer Patio Party using my BBQ party invitation – I love the casualness of it, and the color palette it set for the party – black, white, yellow, red and a touch of green. I set the patio table with a sunny assortment of sunflowers, woven charger plates, green melamine plates, and black and white buffalo check napkins.  To add a little twinkle to the table, I placed votive candles into mason jars filled with green lentils.

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DSC_0975I served up one of PAMA’s signature cocktails – the Summer Fling!  To make serving simple, I premixed my cocktails and placed them in capped bottles, making it simple for guests to help themselves.  I add to the summer-casual-feeling, I served them up in glass mason jars as glasses.

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DSC_1007DSC_1002To make your own PAMA Summer Fling Cocktail, follow this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup PAMA
  • 12 oz Peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice (2 large limes)
  • 1 tbs thinly chopped fresh basil

Instructions

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Pour into a re-sealable 600ML bottle. Chill until ready to serve. Can be made up to 1 week in advance.

PS – they have all kinds of fabulous recipes on their website – you can check them out here.

cornwatermelon horizontalIn addition to our burgers and brats, I served corn on the cob on popsicle sticks (I stood them up in a galvanized container, making for a charming presentation), and my favorite go-to summer appetizer: watermelon, feta and basil stacks, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The sweetness complimented our PAMA cocktails perfectly!

I sent guests home with a little popcorn bag, dressed up with a gingham check sticker.

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

There is still time to enter the Celebrate Summer Pinterest contest at PAMALiqueur.com/CelebrateSummerContest. 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.

July 2nd, 2015 |

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 30th, 2015 |

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 29th, 2015 |

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.

 

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