June 18th, 2009 |

Setting a Summer Table

Setting Summer Table

Summertime table settings should be as relaxed and carefree as the season itself. The summer invites  alfresco meals—from breakfasts on the porch to poolside cocktails and patio dinners. These great tips from Williams Sonoma will help you create stylish table settings for the entire season.

Tableware

To simplify planning your settings, include pieces in your tableware collection that can serve more than one function. Earthenware pasta bowls are wonderful for pasta, risotto and polenta as well as for salads and gazpacho. Dipping bowls are another summertime staple for presenting fine olive oils, vinegars and condiments or savory nibbles like nuts and olives. In addition to holding beverages, wine and margarita glasses can double as serving vessels for fresh fruit salads, frosty sorbets and chilled seafood cocktails.

Linens

Table linens help set the mood for summer dining. Options can be as understated as a crisp, white cotton tablecloth and napkins or as exuberant as a colorful paisley, geometric or floral print. To create visual contrast, mix solids and patterns or combine linens of different textures, such as a quilted cotton tablecloth with wicker place mats.

Centerpieces

Summer’s bountiful gardens inspire colorful table decorations. Floral arrangements are often casual and spontaneous, showcasing whatever is in bloom. Display a bouquet of just-picked flowers in a rustic earthenware pitcher, or use bud vases or tumblers to hold individual blossoms or newly cut herbs at each place setting.

Lighting

For dining after sundown, illuminate table settings with candles in varying shapes and sizes—from tiny tea lights and votives to dramatic pillar and taper candles. To create a natural look, place candles in bowls of sand, seashells or river pebbles. Nautical-style table lanterns bring the feel of the seaside to your gatherings yet won’t extinguish in the breeze. For ambient outdoor lighting, group patio torches around your dining area.

Images: table setting (williams-sonoma.com), colorful glasses (surlatable.com)

June 15th, 2009 |

Father’s Day Centerpiece Idea

dad-centerpieceImage via Better Homes and Gardens

June 3rd, 2009 |

Backyard Movie Party

backyard-movie-partyToday, we are going to forget the fancy invitations, the big, bold centerpieces and the creative placecards….today, we are throwing a different type of party.

Take advantage of the good weather while you have it and host a backyard movie party.  Create a makeshift movie screen and invite friends to stop over for a picnic and movie.

If you are lucky enough to own a projector – you are in good shape!  If not, don’t frete – you can rent one from a local audio-visual store for the night.  Although there are plenty of screens available these days, you can just hang a sheet on a wall or attached to a clothesline.

Set up different tiers of seating – blankets and pillows down front, then a tier of low-to-the-ground folding chairs, and then a row of taller director chairs in back.  If you have them available, you may want to add in a couple of small tables among the chairs so people can put their food and drinks  on them.

Looking to add a touch of ambiance to your “theater”?  Put up some Christmas lights in the trees – it will add a little twinkle!

backyard-movie-party-popcorn-lampServe up movie popcorn and candy to your guests.  Set up a consession stand with different glass jars of candy and big bowls of popcorn.  Place small glasses on the table so people can fill them up with treats to eat while watching the movie.  Plum Party Supplies has popcorn containers that are adorable….they would be perfect!

Now, I know I made a fuss about keeping this simple and not doing any sort of extravegant centerpieces……but, come on?!  Did you really think I could do a party without a centerpiece?!  We need just a little something on our food table and I love, love, love this idea from Rachael Ray….and it’s so simple to do!  All you need are two different glass cylinder vases (the smaller one could even be a tall glass), a candle and popcorn!

It is simple as this: place a candle into the small vase (or glass) and then place that into the larger vase.  Pour the popcorn into the vase to fill up the space in between.  Once you light that candle – your popcorn will glow!

Now, the only decision left is what movie to show!

Images via Rachael Ray Magazine

May 30th, 2009 |

Do-It-Yourself Picnic: Reusable Sandwich Bags

stylish-sandwich-bagsLast week, I posted on creating the perfect, modern picnic for the summer.  I just discovered this idea in Tastebud magazine – and it’s perfect for our modern picnic!

Make a simple reusable sandwich bag from oil cloth. There are tons of great prints out there (look at your local fabric or craft store) and can be hand washed after each use.  Stylish and good for the environment – they would also be great for your kids playdates!

Here’s the how-to:

  1. cut a rectangle approximately 8 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ out of oilcloth with pinking shears or sharp scissors.
  2. turn edges under 1/4″ and stitch with machine.
  3. with wrong sides facing each other, fold over oilcloth leaving 2 1/2″ of extra material for the flap.
  4. stitch along sides to form the pocket.
  5. attach velcro on flap and pocket of bag.
  6. enjoy your reusable sandwich bag and hand wash with soap and water.

I found some great oilcloth fabric that you can buy by the yard at Doxie Shop.  Here are a couple that I think would be perfect for these sandwich bags:

stylish-sandwich-bags-fabric

May 27th, 2009 |

Preppy Summer Wreath

preppy-summer-wreath

Looking for the perfect way to add a little bit of your preppy style to your home this season?  Perfect to grace your front door for summer, or to welcome guests to your next bridal shower or birthday party….this peony wreath is beautiful on it’s own….but hang it with a grosgrain ribbon belt….and it’s preppy perfection!

Click here for instructions from Country Living.

May 27th, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Bold Stripes

Bold Stripes

Freshen up your home, wardrobe and parties this summer with BOLD stripes!  Done in different variations, and every color under the rainbow – stripes are all over the market this season.  I personally love the navy and white combo – it lends it self perfectly to the nautical look for summer!

Images: stripe and polka dot china by kate spade (macys.com), party table setting (via A Passion for Parties), stripe dress (polo.com), napkin (brides.com)

May 22nd, 2009 |

Summer Style

wine-toteThis beautiful grasscloth carrier helps you easily tote your wine in style.  It holds 4 bottles of wine and is perfect for summer picnics, outdoor music festivals or even a hostess gift for a weekend at the beach!  Check out Toss Designs for this fabulous product!

May 21st, 2009 |

Seersucker: For Your Table!

seersucker-napkin-ringsIf you are a girl that loves a little seersucker now and then, you are going to love these!  Seersucker inspired napkin rings from Plum Party Supplies.  Perfect for a pool party, backyard BBQ, or a lobster bake on the beach!

May 17th, 2009 |

The Cadillac of Picnic Baskets

picnic-basket

I found this picnic basket on Delight.com today – and am just in love with the bright colors!  This would make a perfect wedding or shower gift for a couple!

You can’t go wrong with this set as it includes everything you’d ever need while enjoying cuisine at the park – four plates, four cups, utensils, cutting board, wine key, salt and pepper shakers, and a backpack that holds it all plus a bottle of wine, a large insulated compartment in the back, and a blanket to top it all off.   Not to mention it is probably the most stylish picnic basket I’ve ever seen!

May 14th, 2009 |

Summer Luminaries

summer-luminariesI am love, love, loving these summer luminaries!  How perfect for my preppy, summer BBQ’s?!

Sold in a set of 12 – they are perfect to use as a centerpiece vessel or hang them off shepard hooks lining a pathway.  So cute and charming….doesn’t it make you want to plan a clambake in Nantucket?!

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