October 22nd, 2009 |
Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a month away?! I know, I know….we are not even thru Halloween yet….but I figured it was time to start rolling out the Thanksgiving ideas….I need to leave you all time to plan!
There are so many different types of Thanksgiving celebrations. You can go elegant, you can go casual and eat turkey while watching the football game, or you can do the rustic look – I guess we’ll call it a mix between the two! Today’s inspiration is for just that….a rustic Thanksgiving dinner party.
If you don’t host your family Thanksgiving dinner, use the holiday as an opportunity this month to host a Thanksgiving-themed dinner party with friends. We do this every year – and we have so much fun doing it! It’s a great time to test out some new recipes (without having to discard everyone’s favorites on the day-of!). The menu I have planned here is literally making my mouth water, and I can’t wait to test out some of these recipes!
Invite your guests with a fall-like invitation and set your table using earth tones, textured linens, and ceramic pots full of berries. If kids are in the mix, set them their very own table using brown kraft paper. You can put cups full of crayons on the table, and they can draw away on the tablecloth. I love the idea of drawing on “placemats” with the kid’s individual names…..creative and rustic-looking at the same time!
Thanksgiving dinner is all about the food, so let’s get to it….this year, I am going to make a roasted turkey with a port gravy, twice-baked potatoes with goat cheese and chives, green beans and walnuts with a lemon vinaigrette, savory bread pudding with mushrooms and parmesan, olive and asiago rolls, and a bourbon-pecan tart with chocolate drizzle. So….is your mouth watering yet?!
Seeing as though there are ALWAYS leftovers (which is half the fun of Thanksgiving!) – be prepared to send your guests home with some goodies. Continue our rustic theme by packaging the food in brown paper boxes, tie it with striped ribbon, and attach a personalized label.
Images: craft table, tied napkins, and take out boxes (countryliving.com), wine and green ceramic centerpiece (potterybarn.com), invitation (tinyprints.com)
October 20th, 2009 |
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am seeing pink-themed parties popping up everywhere! For today’s inspiration, I have combined two party ideas that have been floating around in my head lately…. First, a pink-theme dinner party in honor of a dear friend I lost almost 4 years ago to breast cancer, and two, a jewelry party showcasing (and selling!) the designs of a local jewelry designer. Good ideas separately…..one great party when combined!
Partner up with a local jewelry designer….offer to host the party, but ask her to donate a percent of her sales from the evening to breast cancer research. Create a glamorous event with this chandelier invitation from Minted and a sparkling pink table settings.
To create a jewelry-themed centerpiece, stagger different type of glasses atop a mirror. (I would use wine, champagne and martini glasses to get height variety) Fill the glasses with different baubles and pink “ice” vase filler. Add pink wine glasses to your table setting for an additional touch of our signature color!
Send your guests home with monogrammed jewelry pouch….perfect for holding their new purchase!
Images: invitation (minted.com), jewelry centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), pink table setting (instyleweddings.com), jewelry pouches (beau-coup.com), breast cancer chocolate-dipped strawberries (redenvelope.com), pink vase gems (save-on-crafts.com)
October 12th, 2009 |
Halloween isn’t just for kids! It’s a great opportunity to gather all of your adult friends for a festive cocktail party. To keep the event looking more mature than child-like, set the tone with a black and white theme, add in a little sparkle, a special cocktail….and you have a party that will have your friends talking for weeks!
Invite your guests for a cocktail and dessert party after the kids go to bed. That way you limit the amount of food and drinks you need to provide. Since the party will take place after dark, it will be easier to create a dark, spooky ambiance!
Use one main table for your food and drinks. Set the stage with a black tablecloth covered with some torn, white tulle (made to look like spider webs). Add some sophisticated sparkle to your table with these candelabra silhouettes, and bat-covered votive candles.
Serve up some yummy desserts, including black and white decorated sugar cookies, spider web cupcakes, brownies, and bowls of black licorice. In addition to your typical cocktail party fare, serve a signature cocktail. Perfect for this occasion?! A candy corn cordial. Yummy, festive and oh, so pretty when served in a martini glass. Throw in some “bone chillers” ice cubes into all of your guest’s drinks for a little extra Halloween flair!
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), cookies (goodhousekeeping.com), rose centerpiece (bhg.com), table setting (goodhousekeeping.com), spiderweb cupcakes (countryliving.com)
October 6th, 2009 |
Gourds are popping up everywhere this Fall when it comes to decor for your home and table. Add a touch of style to your party this season by carving out small gourds and using them as napkin rings. It’s a quick, inexpensive, stylish addition to your dinner table.
Image via inmagine.com
October 5th, 2009 |
With Fall officially here, it’s time to partake in one of the season’s best activities – apple picking! Most fun when done in a large group, organize a day of autumn fun that starts with apple picking and ends with a backyard fireside dinner party.
Invite your guests with an invitation from Tiny Prints, and use the autumn color palette to design the rest of your party. Set up your party outside by concentrating on a few key areas – one long dinner table, a food buffet area, and a sitting area surrounding a fire pit.
The whole feel of the day should read rustic, country chic – like you are hosting your party in the middle of the woods! Line your dinner table with lanterns, vases of sunflowers, and bowls of the apples you picked that day. If you are entertaining a crowd, make it easy on yourself and use disposable silverware and paper goods. I would use the bambu veneerware plates and silverware to work with our “rustic” theme.
Set up your food buffet under a large tree so you can hang some lanterns above it. Serve up some traditional Fall comfort food….chicken with apples, onion and cider sauce, green bean casserole, baked mac & cheese, fresh bread, and a bunch of apple-themed desserts such as mini apple pies, apple and pear crisps and caramel apples.
Your fire pit area will be the gathering spot for after dinner fun and conversation. Make sure to outfit it with chairs, barrels of hay for people to sit on, throw blankets in case people get cold, and a basket of supplies so the kids can make s’mores.
A fun-filled day for the whole family….I hope you have a little apple-picking fun in your future!
Images: dinner table and buffet table (countryliving.com), invitation (tinyprints.com), barrel of apples (stylemepretty.com), girl (inmagine.com), candles (realsimple.com), mini apple pies (williams-sonoma.com)
September 30th, 2009 |
If you are looking for a special way to celebrate Halloween with your favorite ladies, or are hosting a bridal shower in the month of October….try hosting a Witches Dinner Party.
Set a table with beautiful, autumn-inspired decorations using a color palette of rusty orange, chocolate brown and mustard yellow. Mix and match patterns to achieve a “shabby chic” look….try using paisley, pumpkin toile and striped napkins. Place a mini witches broom on each guest’s plate as a place card. Try looking at your local craft store for these, or you could try to make them yourselves (click here for instructions).
To create an interesting centerpiece, carve out a large pumpkin and cut off the top to create a large bowl. Fill the bowl with a variety of fall gourds, and surround it with mini pumpkin votive candles.
I found a great recipe that is perfect for this party! It’s a stuffed brie called a ‘Witches Purse‘. Very simple to do, and it’s sure to get rave reviews! This party is festive and a great reason to gather your friends during October.
Images: place setting (countryliving.com), witches purse appetizer (allyou.com), white pumpkin votive candles (bhg.com), pumpkin bowl (bhg.com), invitation (tinyprints.com), candles (inmagine.com)
September 30th, 2009 |
With Halloween quickly approaching, it’s fun to insert a few easy ideas to add a touch of holiday spirit to your everyday life. Take this napkin idea….a simple black bat tied to a napkin with a sheer ribbon. Darling. Simple. Festive. Want to take it to the next level?! Make bat cookies. Sugar cookies, black royal icing, and one of those easy frosting pens from Williams Sonoma…..and you have yourself a tasty little place card!
Image via Good Housekeeping
September 28th, 2009 |
Cocktail parties are one of the easiest ways to entertain your friends. But, if you entertain often, you are probably always looking for a new theme. What’s on my radar right now?! A Tequila Tasting….full of margaritas and lots of Mexican appetizers.
Invite your guests with this charming invitation from Tiny Prints. It’s the perfect mix of fiesta and all things autumn!
When it comes to setting up your party, create a long buffet table with drinks on one side and appetizers on the other. To add a little decoration, create a runner of sunflower heads going down the center of the table. Since this is a cocktail party, I would center your food around appetizers. We talk a lot about Mexican dinner entrees around here….but I had a great time finding you some yummy appetizer ideas….definitely some new recipes to add to your repertoire.
In terms of drinks, offer your guests a few different options. I would suggest a couple different types of margaritas, and tasting stations of tequila. Set your stations up with shot glasses, a bowl of limes, and a small bowl of salt. Make sure to have a few pitchers of water on hand for people to cleanse their palette with after a tasting, too.
I think this party would be a lot of fun….now, who’s going to throw one?!
Images: margarita glasses (potterybarn.com), sunflower runner (hostessblog.com), margaritas (potterybarn.com), and tequila shots (projectwedding.com)
September 22nd, 2009 |
One of the easiest ways to dress up your place setting is to add a simple embellishment to your napin – such as a vegetable! A bunch of radishes tied with twine offer a pop of color, an apple with a tag stuck in it serves as a place card, the possibilities are endless….just take a spin thru the produce section of your local grocery store or farmer’s market for inspiration.
Image via Inmagine.com
September 15th, 2009 |
We don’t talk about Brunch enough around here, in my opinion! Brunch is a great form of entertaining. It’s an easy, one course meal, typically pretty casual, and it’s held in the morning – so your guests come, they eat, and then you all go about your day!
Welcome Fall with a casual brunch with friends. Set a table full of autumnal colors and seasonal accents. Start with beautiful runner, layer on woven charger plates, and finish with your everyday white dishes. To add a decorative touch to your place setting, fold your napkin into a “pocket” and insert a mini bottle of maple syrup. Finish by writing your guests names on a silk leaf. It’s a festive placecard and party favor for your guests to bring home!
To create a simple, yet Fall-like centerpiece like the one pictured above, take a low bowl and place a large pillar candle in the center. Fill in the space around the candle with seasonal fruits or nuts. Fill a variety of small bowls with different nuts, small fruits and berries to place around the main centerpiece.
Everyone has their favorite pancake recipe. But if you are looking for something new, try making mini filled-pancakes. Williams Sonoma has a bunch of great recipes, and they sell the pancake pan too! Offer a couple of side dishes, such as maple-glazed bacon, and ham and egg breakfast tarts. Add in some mimosas…..and you have the perfect brunch!
Images: place setting (matthewmeadstyle.com), dining room (potterybarn.com), centerpiece (bhg.com)