March 22nd, 2010 |
The Seder dinner marks the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover. Typically held at home, Seder dinners are full of tradition….and some delicious food! Set a warm, yet elegant table in shades of gold and simple white centerpieces. Add a personal touch by placing a votive candle with your guest’s names written on a small scroll at each place setting.
The Seder menu is stock full of tradition. Items such as matzo ball soup have been served during this holiday for generations! I found a few recipes on Bon Appetit that give a simple update to a few favorites:
These delicious recipes are sure to become new traditions in your family. Tell me, how do you celebrate the holiday?
Images: tulips (stylemepretty.com), votive candle (epicurious.com), napkin (karentran.com), table setting (lastoriafoto.com)
March 16th, 2010 |
I’m Irish. Like, freckles and reddish-hair, Irish. Have I ever told you that?! So, not only do I come from a big, Irish family…but so does my husband! Since St. Patrick’s Day falls mid-week this year, we had our two big family celebrations on Sunday. I thought I got the holiday out of my system….but I keep thinking, what are we going to do on the actual day?! It’s too big of a deal in our families to just let the day slip by unnoticed!
I decided to whip together a quick little dinner party. You know…. simple. But festive! I am going to serve traditional corned beef and potatoes. But I also want to throw in some green, Spring vegetables – asparagus, broccolini, green beans and snap peas. I thought it would be interesting to try something new with the corned beef too, so I am going to try these corned beef and cabbage rolls as an appetizer. It looks yummy – and for those of us that are gluten-free (like me!) – it takes the place of a corned beef sandwich!
For dessert?! Chocolate-Irish cream cheesecake and an Irish martini. Sounds delicious, don’t you think?! What are your plans for celebrating?
Images: green dining room (karljuengel.com), napkin (theknot.com)
March 4th, 2010 |
I literally gasped in excitement when I saw this centerpiece on The Knot. It’s a beautiful, unique spin on a traditional “shower” theme, and I think it would be perfect for either a baby or bridal shower. Using a small umbrella, hang crystals from clear fishing wire from each point to look like rain drops. You could insert the embellished umbrella into just about any sort of floral centerpiece. And think how creative you could get with the umbrellas! Polka dots, stripes, floral patterns….so many options to take this concept and give it your own look!
Image via The Knot
March 2nd, 2010 |
I have decided that I have seen ENOUGH snow for one season. It’s time to move on to Spring! Bright colors, cocktails on the patio, gathering friends to celebrate a special occasion. I get requests all of the time for engagement party ideas…..but this inspiration could also be used for a birthday party, bridal shower, or just a good reason to throw a cocktail party!
The missoni-style invitation from WH Hostess provides a great color scheme for the party. Decorate using pops of orange, green and blue. These fluted vases from Crate & Barrel mirror the zig zag pattern of the invitation, and are perfect to place on the table as a centerpiece or on side tables for an added decoration. If you are throwing this party outside, fill your space with lanterns (different sizes add interest) to add some mood lighting!
A party this colorful deserves some delicious appetizers! I would serve something like brochettes of melon, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella, or peppered tuna skewers with wasabi mayonnaise. Pretty, sophisticated….and easy to eat! Towards the end of the party, put out platters of sugar cookies embellished with the words “thank you!” and cellophane bags – people can bring them home as party favors.
Images: invitation (whhostess.com), vases (crateandbarrel.com), table setting (theknot.com), appetizers (socialdesign.com), patio (cocomale.com), thank you cookie (inmagine.com)
February 22nd, 2010 |
When it comes to incorporating the style ideas from our trend alert (Farmhouse Chic) earlier today into entertaining, there are a few key elements: a relaxed, natural decor, spring-like colors, and comfort food.
This invitation from my stationery line, WH Hostess, sets the tone for a cozy brunch, and also gives us some warm colors to use for decor. A pale grey and soft yellow are the perfect backdrop for delicious breakfast foods! When setting your table, opt for a more casual look. Perhaps placemats instead of a tablecloth, or a use a runner down the center of your table with woven charger plates. Incorporating linens with natural elements, such as birds or greenery on them will also help you to achieve a lovely, light and casual look.
One of my new favorite products from my OpenSky shop is this etched juice bottle. It’s classic, yet modern-looking to me, and I love that it helps to “dress-up” my table or buffet. There are also matching glasses, which would be darling on our brunch table!
No brunch would be complete without mimosas and eggs, in my opinion! But I always try to find something new to try….top on my list for this party would be mini crepe cups, praline pancakes and bloody mary’s (which are sure to keep you warm and cozy on these cold, winter mornings!)
Images: dining room, silverware bucket (potterybarn.com), invitation (whhostess.com), juice bottle and glasses (partydress.theopenskyproject.com), bloody mary, praline pancakes (williams-sonoma.com), crepe cups (midwestliving.com)
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February 19th, 2010 |
When I started putting together this inspiration board, it was with a formal wedding in mind. However, after pulling these ideas together, I really think you could use this for any type of formal entertaining! I absolutely adore the use of bold, black and white stripes – from the tablecloth, to the ribbon used to hang placecards from, to the crisp white edge of the party favor box. It’s crisp. It’s modern (although black and white stripes are very traditional!). And it’s the perfect accent to almost any color combination!
I would love to see this concept re-created for a formal birthday party, a charity event, or even a bridal shower!
Images: table setting, couple, party favors (brides.com), placecards (partyspot.com), bouquet (goodhousekeeping.com), champagne bar (toddevents.com), yellow wedding cake (thecakegirls.com), invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com)
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February 17th, 2010 |
Although blue may be the big “fashion” color this Spring, people still have a huge passion for purple when it comes to planning parties! Ranging in shades from lilac to burgundy, purple is the perfect compliment to a range of colors. (My personal favorite is a combination of different shades of purple mixed together!)
Images: ice cubes, iris centerpiece, cake (brides.com), vases (matthewmeadstyle.com), purple arrangements (floralartla.com)
February 9th, 2010 |
What better party to start out with than this bridal shower that I planned with a LOVE theme. It’s perfect for the week of Valentine’s Day in case you need any last minute ideas: mini cupcakes and mini desserts, roses, and heart shaped chocolate suckers. I look forward to bringing you more inspiring posts in the upcoming weeks!
Images property of One Charming Party
February 3rd, 2010 |
The snow here in Chicago has me dreaming of the parties I will throw this summer in my new backyard. Top of my list?! A lemonade lunch. Totally inspired by this table setting created by Sharnel in Australia (it is summer there….), here are a few things that I would include:
A table setting with over-sized vases, and single blooms as the centerpiece. A small-printed napkin tied with a fresh leaf from the garden. Drink dispensers full of flavored waters, and lemonades. A lemonade packet with a customized label as a party favor for all of my friends.
I can’t wait for SPRING! What type of parties are you dreaming about throwing?!
P.S. This would be a darling theme for a baby or bridal shower, too!
Images: kids, napkin (countryliving.com), hanging candle (bhg.com), lemonade packets (beau-coup.com), table setting (mylife-mylove.blogspot.com), drink dispensers (swsmag.com), centerpiece (brides.com)
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February 2nd, 2010 |
Super Bowl Sunday is a great opportunity to entertain. Some may want to gather friends for a traditional party, serving beer and appetizers, and others…..well, they may want to run for the hills at the first sound of a Super Bowl party. Hey…it’s okay if football isn’t your thing…I totally get it! If you are one of these girls, and your husband is going to be occupied with the game and some male-bonding on Sunday, take this opportunity to entertain a bunch of girls! (football-free, of course!)
Brunch is a great activity for Sunday morning. It’s an easy meal to prepare, very little prep-work involved, and your guests are in-and-out, and you go about your day! So, let’s talk brunch….
Set a simple table. White dishes, a patterned napkin, and maybe a little vase of spring flowers on the table. Serve up a picture of bloody mary’s, and have a bowl of fresh berries for people to pick at while sitting around chatting. Brunch wouldn’t be complete in my mind without eggs benedict. Switch things up by serving a killer tomato benedict (tomato, pesto, roasted peppers and hollandaise sauce…..YUM!), and an apple-citrus salad with avocado and bacon. It’s light, fresh and delicious!
If you are looking for another finger-food option, consider putting a new twist on deviled eggs:
I love the idea of putting a fresh spin on this old favorite! Serve up a couple different variations, and serve them on small appetizer plates, or 3 in a row on a rectangular-shaped plate. Try an asian-inspired version, or a three-herb recipe…..just remember, it’s all in the presentation!
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), dishes (williams-sonoma.com), place setting (projectwedding.com)
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