August 3rd, 2009 |
This shabby chic birthday brunch is all about natural sand colors mixed with cornflower blue. This lovely invitation from Minted is the perfect inspiration for the decor of the party….it has a subtle garden party feel, but with a color palette that I think is so sophisticated.
If you are hosting a larger party, consider setting up a few tables of 8-10 for brunch. In order to assure your guests have a lovely time, use placecards to determine the seating. Create a placecard display by filling a wood tray with sunflower seeds, beans, or rice (something in the natural color) and stand the placecards up in neat little rows.
Bring natural elements into your table centerpieces. Potted plants, candles perched on wood coasters, glass hurricane candles filled with pussy willow branches. Tie your napkin with a piece of raffia or a ribbon, and stick a white flower into it to finish off the presentation. Dress up a basic birthday cake with some fresh flowers on top….flowers make everything look special!
No party is complete without a signature drink….ask the birthday girl what her favorite cocktail is ahead of time. An Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea) would be a perfect non-alcoholic option. Dress up your drinks by adding a custom flag to your straws. The pop of blue ties into our color palette, and they are darling when personalized with a cute saying, or something as simple as “Happy 30th!”
This brunch inspiration would be ideal for a bridal shower as well. The beautiful colors, simple decorations and sophisticated feel ensures a lovely afternoon with friends. Doesn’t it make you want to pull a floral party dress out of your closet and plan a party?!
Images: invitation (minted.com), drinks (brides.com), blue cake (theknot.com), table setting (artfool.com), placecards (saltharbor.com), party dresses (jcrew.com)
July 25th, 2009 |
Whether you are planning a romantic night with your special someone, or an intimate gathering of close friends – bring your dinner out under the stars for a picnic!
Set the mood by creating a cozy area for people to gather. Lounge chairs, blankets, big pillows will do – add lanterns, candles and potted plants around to add color and some mood lighting. Serve food that is not only easy to eat, but remember to use serving dishes that aren’t breakable and they should sit well on the ground. Baskets are perfect for this occasion! Gather bowls of different dips, slices of bread, and crackers all into one basket.
Come up with a festive dessert, such as a summer fruit salad with sambuca. Give this recipe from Williams Sonoma a try….
Feel free to vary it according to the fruit available, adding raspberries, peaches, oranges or melons. Adjust the sugar, lemon juice and sambuca to suit your taste. Kirsch or another fruit brandy can be used in place of the sambuca, if you prefer. The critical step is the long maceration, which allows the flavors to blend.
1 pint strawberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sugar, plus more as needed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more as needed
2 Tbs. anise liqueur, such as sambuca or anisette,
plus more as needed
Hull the strawberries and halve or quarter if large. Peel and dice the mango. Dice the plum and nectarine.
In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, mango, plum, nectarine, blackberries and blueberries. Add the 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 lemon and the 2 Tbs. sambuca and stir well. Dice the banana and stir into the salad. Taste and add more sugar, lemon juice or sambuca, if needed.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the flavorings before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
Images: stargazing picnic (brightideas.com), pillows (instyleweddings.com), basket of dips (inmagine.com), drinks (helennorman.com)
July 21st, 2009 |
Sunflowers add instant warmth to any table. I’ve always considered sunflowers to be “happy” flowers…they instantly put a smile on my face! Try setting the table for your next dinner party with these great napkin rings from Pottery Barn, or cut off the top of a flower and insert a placecard. Both easy to do and equally charming!
Images: napkin rings (potterybarn.com), sunflower placecard (theknot.com)
July 20th, 2009 |
To toast the end of summer, invite your friends over for a fresh cocktail party concept: bites and bubbly!
This simple invitation from Wedding Paper Divas sets the tone for a festive evening with friends. A color palette of yellow, pale orange and silver and the use of a simple circle shape to create bold and modern atmosphere. Add some twinkle to your event by placing tea light candles around the party. If you are looking for some silver accents, use silver mini-tart pans as candle holders.
Set up a bar featuring your true guest of honor….the bubbly! Use a silver bucket to house the bottles of champagne (or prosecco), and choose two champagne punches to serve. My suggestions? Champagne Orange Sherbet Punch and Pomegranite-Champagne Punch…..delicious, pretty and the colors work with our color palette! Although a traditional punch bowl is always lovely, try using large cylinder vases and a ladle to serve your punch. The lines of the vase look a bit more modern, and you can buy the vases in all different sizes. Try alternating between short and chubby, and tall and skinny!
When you are hosting a cocktail party, make sure you have the appropriate glassware and dishes. You don’t want to work hard to create a beautiful party, and then serve your guests their bubbly in plastic glasses….do you?! You can find affordable glassware at IKEA. A set of six wine or champagne glasses for $4.99! A small investment for what will bring an elevated level of style to your party!
Instead of cooking a full meal, offer your guests a few “bites”! Serve a combination of appetizers and desserts, and since your guests will be walking around mingling, try to keep them easy to eat, or bite-size. I came up with a few new ideas that I think would be fabulous….
An evening full of good friends and fabulous bites and bubbly….it’s the perfect way to celebrate the end of summer!
Images: invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), champagne bar (toddevents.com), floral centerpiece (aboutdetailsdetails.com)
July 16th, 2009 |
Whether you are celebrating a 20th anniversary or the recent engagement of good friends, invite people over to celebrate the occasion with drinks and appetizers – all styled with rustic charm! I am in love with this invitation from Minted…it’s half modern, half vintage, and completely charming!
Style the location of your party with a natural feel, using a rustic yellow, green and rust orange as a color palette. Place a couple of different centerpieces around the party to vary the look. First, fill a basket up with moss stones and votive candles. And second, place grass plants in small terracotta pots and wrap a decorative ribbon around it. If you have a trellis or trees above your serving table, hang some votive candles to add a little sparkle to the evening.
Serve your appetizers on serving pieces such as slabs of wood or slate, and in baskets. Look for some hearty appetizers such as pancetta-wrapped asparagus with citronette dressing, grilled zucchini with fresh mozzarella, and fig and goat cheese crostini. In addition to wine, serve a tasty, signature cocktail such as blackberry and cabernet caipirinha.
Images: patio (countryliving.com), invitation (minted.com), grass centerpiece (oncewed.com)
July 14th, 2009 |
Summer is the perfect time to gather for a family reunion. Whether it takes place annually or for a special occassion such as a wedding or birthday – make time this summer to entertain your family in style!
Fill your location with wood picnic tables and hang white paper lanterns from the trees above to give the setting a festive look. If you plan on having a sit down dinner or lunch, try this creative placecard idea. Using the end of a citrus peeler, scrape out everyone’s name onto a lime. It’s a natural-looking decorative element that will fit perfectly into your outdoor setting. Keep your centerpieces natural-looking as well. Try gathering wild flowers and placing them into simple vases or tin cans like the picture above.
Have each family member bring a special dish to serve for the meal….to differentiate what is what (and who cooked what), place all of the food on chalkboard slabs. You can identify the dish, so everyone will know “Aunt Mimi” made the brownies!
Oh, and make sure to set up an area for activities such as bocce ball and croquet to keep your guest entertained!
Images: outdoor party (traditionalhome.com), couple, paper lanterns, lime placecard (inmagine.com), daisy tin can centerpiece and chalkboard appetizer display (brides.com), bocce ball sign (theknot.com), baby (chasing-fireflies.com)
July 12th, 2009 |
I’m taking today off to celebrate my 30th birthday! Yup, ya heard me….30…..it sounds old!
I spent my 20′s figuring out who I was, what my dreams are…..had an amazing college experience, met friends I hope I will have forever, had a pretty amazing dream job, found my love for entertaining, and most importantly met (and married) prince charming. Can’t wait to see what the 30′s bring! Cheers!
Images: girl with balloons (josevilla.bigfolioblog.com), candles (inmagine.com)
July 3rd, 2009 |
I know I have been doing a lot of parties centered around red, white and blue this week…..it must be my patriotic side coming out! So to switch things up, how about a birthday party with a blue and yellow color palette?!
There are many occassions worth celebrating in life, and a major milestone birthday is one of them. I, myself, will be celebrating one of those next week (which one I won’t tell you, I have to keep you guessing about some things, right?!). So, if your significant other, good friend, or parent is celebrating a milestone this year…..plan a party they won’t forget!
I became obsessed with the navy blue and yellow color palette recently when I saw a couple of weddings posted on Style Me Pretty with this very combination. It just screamed summer to me – kind of nautical, kind of preppy, but with a modern feel. If you haven’t checked out these weddings – you should definitely head on over there for some great inspiration! As always, I think you could take any of these ideas and apply it to whatever type of party you might be planning – a birthday party, a dinner party, or even a bridal shower.
Invite your guests with this stylish invitation from Wedding Paper Divas. I love the simple grid pattern; it’s a detail you can repeat throughout your event to bring continuity to the party. Notice how the cake has the grid pattern as well, but this time in a tonal, white butter cream frosting (yum!).
Set your tables with navy linens, and pop in accents of white and yellow in a beautifully gift-wrapped centerpiece. Not only is this a festive idea (especially for a birthday party!), but it’s also much more economical than a large floral centerpiece. Choose some coordinating, patterned wrapping paper, wrap up old boxes you have sitting around your home, stack them up in an interesting group – and voila! Festive and inexpensive!
I am a firm believer in place cards! Whether your party is for 8 or 80 people, place cards add a touch of novelty to your place setting, and they enable you to seat your guests in a place where you can ensure they will have a good time. If your party is on the larger side, arrange your place cards on a table outside of the dining room to make it easy for your guests to find their seats. Don’t forget to decorate that table; it sets the tone to your guests as to what to expect from the rest of the evening.
Paper goods, good stationary – I love it all! And I spend a lot of my day looking for new ideas and products, but it is rare that I fall in love with an idea the way I have with this concept! What an elegant, yet modern way of presenting place cards! I absolutely swooned when I saw it on Style Me Pretty, and just had to get it up on the website as quickly as possible! White linens, white and navy patterned place cards, a few votive candles….simple enough! What really makes this table look new and interesting is the use of ornate, wooden picture frames. Glass removed, spray painted white, frames in different shapes and patterns. The result is stunning and I can’t wait to try this at one of my parties!
Don’t forget to send your guests home with a party favor to remember the evening. New to Beau-Coup, these cocktail infusion favors don’t just look chic—they taste good! Add one, two or all three flavors to your drink menu to create an array of cocktails or give them as party favors. You can even personalize the labels!
Images: invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), navy dress and place card display (stylemepretty.com), wedding cake and table setting (instyleweddings.com)
July 2nd, 2009 |
These bright and cheery topiaries are perfect for a rainy day brunch or a summer bridal shower! All you need are two styrofoam topiary forms (overall height 18 inches with 6-inch-diameter globes) and a box of paper umbrellas.
A couple of tips:
- Insert the umbrellas in a partially open position to make the finished piece look textured and 3-dimensional.
- Inserted all of the orange, pink, and yellow parasols first and then “cover up” the areas between them (where the globe shows through) with green parasols.
- To add a finished look to the stem of the topiary, wrap it with a length of ribbon, pinning it into the styrofoam at the top and the bottom.
These topiaries look bright, cheery, and very summery! Unlike real topiaries, these will only cost $10 to make the two.
via Craft Stylish
June 30th, 2009 |
Images: table under the tent (via Passion for Parties by Carolyne Roehm), red drinks (gloriawongdesign.com), berry dessert (foodportfolio.com), flower and stripe plates (kate spade via macys.com)