June 27th, 2015 |
Ladies, 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 25th, 2015 |
Sometimes 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 19th, 2015 |
Remember 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.
Everyone loves something personalized. Trust me, you are going to wow your friends with this one!
June 17th, 2015 |
4th 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!
June 7th, 2015 |
My nautical-inspired dinner party designed around the new Preppy Anchor party invitation from WH Hostess featured my modern spin on the classic Sea Breeze cocktail. I served them up in these darling acrylic striped glasses from Martha Stewart, embellished with some fruit and one of our foil-stamped straw flags. Get my recipe below!
1 oz Raspberry Vodka
1 oz Rum
3 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
Combine the ingredients into a glass and stir, garnish with a strawberry and pineapple slice.
March 23rd, 2015 |
I just love pulling together festive tablescapes for holidays, don’t you?! I shared my Ikat & Carrots Easter table last week, and today I have a sweet blue, white and yellow table to share with you. My love for chinoiserie and all things blue and white are certainly not a secret, so I love any opportunity to pull out my blue and white china.
I layered my china atop a textured white tablecloth, and used cobalt blue wine glasses. My large white urn held center stage as a centerpiece, and I added a pop of color with footed bowls of chocolate foil eggs from See’s Candies. My little guests couldn’t wait to dive into the bowls of candy!
My favorite part of the tablescape are the napkins/placecards. I rolled up crisp, yellow napkins and tied them together with a bow. I placed a hard-boiled egg into the center of the bottom portion, and then wrote my guests’ names on them with a navy blue marker. I love how they look like bunny ears, yet still sophisticated enough for the overall look of the table.
Every party needs a party favor! I sent my guests home with a large chocolate Easter egg from See’s Candies, wrapped in cellophane and a sweet gift tag!
March 13th, 2015 |
Whether you are are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to breathe a little festivity into your family’s day. I love the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner (and will try to post some pictures of my family dinner this year), but I LOVE the idea of surprising your loved ones that morning with a little breakfast surprise from the leprechauns.
If you are extremely domestic and have the time, homemade donuts would be appreciated by all. I knew I would need a little short-cut, so I used store-bought donuts from Entenmann’s (bought at my local grocery store) and jazzed them up!
I stacked up the mini donuts on a cake stand, and then accessorized them with a few sticks. I cut out the shamrocks (free printable below) and taped them onto lollipop sticks, and then also made a few ribbon flags for an extra “wow”. The whole thing took me 5 minutes to do, and you can do it too! Print out the free download below, cut and create something festive for your kiddos!
March 5th, 2015 |
I love a good carrot cake cupcake. Truthfully, I love the cream cheese frosting more. But the cake makes a great vessel to eat the frosting! I turned to one of my favorite chefs, the Barefoot Contessa, to make these darling cupcakes for our Easter brunch and Ina’s recipe did not disappoint.
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.