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?!

May 11th, 2009 |

A Memorial Day Pool Party

Memorial Day is truly the start of summer and is typically celebrated by neighborhood BBQ’s – what could be better than a backyard of freshly cut grass, newly planted flowers and the smell of the grill?!

A Memorial Day Pool Party!

My favorite neighbors have had their backyard under construction for the last few months to put in the most spectacular pool!  After all of the planning, working with contractors, and preparations – they deserve a party to celebrate the opening of their pool!
MD Pool Party (small)

There are so many different components that go into outdoor entertaining – decorating, food, drinks and of course, the little details that will set their party apart any old BBQ.

Let’s start with creating the outdoor party space.  You want to create a few different areas – one for eating, one for socializing and one for lounging by the pool.  Make sure to define these spaces by using elements such as umbrellas, an outdoor rug, a series of chairs that are arranged to be conducive for conversation.  Try to carry one color story throughout the whole outdoor area, and use accents such as lanterns and throw pillows to accessorize.  Take a look at my post on decorating with lanterns for inspiration….not only do they add style by day, but the reflection of the candles in the pool at night will add an instant glow to the party!

Since the pool party is going to be Memorial Day weekend, it makes choosing a color story or theme very simple!  A Memorial Day party invites certain expectations – guests expect that they will be celebrating outside, will be eating all-American fare, and will definitely be seeing a flag or two as decoration.  Flags are a symbol of our patriotism, but let’s surprise your guests with how we use them to decorate.

Speaking of cocktails – no pool party would be complete without Margaritas!  With so many different variations out there – it’s hard to choose which ones to serve.  Check out this post for ideas….if you are looking for a quick but yummy mix, Crate & Barrel has a variety of flavors and rimming salts!  Seeing as though you will be outside and near the pool, you are going to want to stay away from using glass or anything breakable.  There is an abundance of acrylic glasses and  silverware, and melamine dishes currently on the market at all different price points.  Seeing as though you may need to buy in bulk – check out target for these great margarita glasses.

md-pool-party-margarita-small

Now, onto the food!  Platters of snacks are definitely important – but for the main course, serve up a pan-roasted corn salad with tomatoes and feta, and barbecued chicken.  For dessert, serve mini-berry parfaits – done in small glasses, they are easy to eat and still carry on a conversation – and by using blueberries and raspberries, they look oh, so festive!

Well, the components are all there – great food, tasty drinks, a stunning atmosphere and good friends to celebrate the new pool!  Enjoy!

md-pool-party-food-smallImages: table with pool and umbrella (wshome.com), lounge chair (potterybarn.com), drinks (emilywongdesign.com)

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