June 29th, 2015 | Comments

SUMMER PARTIES with PAMA LIQUEUR | ENTER TO WIN

PAMA_Celebrate Summer

This post was sponsored by Heaven Hill Distilleries, Heaven Hill Family of Brands. Bardstown, KY © 2015

Happy Monday, Friends!  I’m so excited to share some great news with you today.  I am partnering with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur to share some great ideas for summer entertaining.  There are so many opportunities to throw a stellar event during the summer, and I love supplying you with as much inspiration as possible.  This weekend, I am hosting a Patio Party/BBQ and have created a Pinterest Board for you to follow along as I start planning.

PAMA Liqueur captures the complex, sweet yet tart taste and seductive ruby color of all-
natural pomegranates. PAMA is made with all-natural pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a touch of imported tequila. PAMA is known for its ruby red color and its delicious flavor, making it the perfect compliment to summer parties!

pama pinterest boardHere’s the fun part: PAMA wants you to get in on the entertaining fun too!  They are hosting a contest on their website (click here), where you can create a summer entertaining pinterest board, and the winners will receive the chance to make their summer party come to life, with some help from PAMA. There will be one grand prize winner and four runners up. The prizes include:

  • Grand Prize Winner: $500 gift card and PAMA party kit to throw a summer party
  • Runners Up: $250 gift card and PAMA party kit to throw a summer party

So set up your Pinterest board, and head over to PAMA’s website to enter!  Fun, right?!

Stay tuned for details from my PAMA Patio Party soon on the blog!

PAMA Celebrate Summer Contest. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Starts on 6/22/15 at 12:00:00 p.m. ET and ends on 7/20/15 at 11:59:59 a.m. ET. Open to legal residents of 50 UnitedStates and D.C., who are at least 21 years of age and older. Void where prohibited. For complete Official Rules, visit PAMALiqueur.com/CelebrateSummer. Sponsor:Heaven Hill Brands, 1064 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY40004.

 

June 27th, 2015 | Comments

STRAWBERRY PUREE ICE CUBES | 4th of JULY COCKTAIL

star ice cube cocktail copyLadies, I have something FUN to share with you today!  I love adding a nod to true Americana style to just about every summer event.  Red, white and blue just screams SUMMER to me, and with the 4th of July quickly approaching – it adds a touch of patriotic prep to my celebrations.  A good mimosa is my drink of choice, and I wanted to find a way to incorporate these loves into my weekend brunch.  So, instead of serving up a classic mimosa, this weekend, I’m serving up a strawberry bellini, complete with star-shaped ice cubes.

I pureed strawberries in my food processor, and froze them into star ice cube molds.  Add them to a glass of champagne or prosecco, along with a few blueberries and you have yourself a delicious and patriotic cocktail!

June 26th, 2015 | Comments

4th OF JULY PREPPY TABLESETTING

flag tablesettingSet a preppy patriotic tablesetting for your 4th of July celebrations by combining a few key patterns: navy stripes, red polka dots and a classic American flag (I found these at Party City)!

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June 25th, 2015 | Comments

ACCESSORIZE 4th OF JULY COCKTAILS

umbrellasSometimes you just need one little accessory to make your holiday style “pop!”  These American flag drink umbrellas from Party City are PERFECT for this.  Add them to cocktails, to kids fruit punch – everyone loves a little patriotic cheer! And if you are looking for a simple tip to keep your umbrellas sitting pretty, add a blueberry onto the stick so it provides a shelf for your glass!

June 24th, 2015 | Comments

CHINOISERIE COUNTRY TABLESETTING | 4th OF JULY

DSC_0367I absolutely LOVE entertaining in July.  The weather is finally good here in Chicago, and with 4th of July quickly approaching, I can pull out all of my red, white and blue and entertain in pure Americana style.  For a dinner party this weekend, I’m setting the table with a classic red gingham tablecloth, my chinoiserie blue and white plates, cobalt wine glasses, and linen napkins from MADISON with a modern blue striped monogram.

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June 19th, 2015 | Comments (1)

MONOGRAMMED WATERMELON | SUMMER HOSTESS GIFT

watermelon introRemember that iconic phrase from the classic movie, Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon”?! Make this your go-to motto for summer hostess gifts, buy gifting my oh, so simple monogrammed watermelon to your host!  Everyone loves a watermelon; it’s inexpensive, delicious and can typically serve a small army.  So it’s the perfect thing to bring when someone invites you over for a summer BBQ or pool party.

To jazz it up, I used a small pumpkin-carving knife to carve out the initial of our hosts’ last name.  It’s cute, personalized – and literally took me under 2 minutes to do! Simply draw out the letter(s) you want to carve out, use a small carving knife to edge out the letter, and rock the pieces back and forth until they come loose.

watermelon stepsEveryone loves something personalized. Trust me, you are going to wow your friends with this one!

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June 15th, 2015 | Comments

NATIONAL LOBSTER DAY | LOBSTER ROLL RECIPE

lobster invitationDid you know today is National Lobster Day?  It’s a fun excuse to share one of our new *favorite* preppy lobster and gingham party invitations and my favorite lobster roll recipe – perfect for summer entertaining!

This past memorial day, we served up lobster rolls picnic-style, packing them in white take out boxes, sealed with our lobster gift sticker.  It was so simple to serve, and transport outside. We used red gingham paper liners from Party City on baskets to add a pop of color, and a nod to the gingham check invitation back.

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DSC_0278Kelly’s Lobster Rolls

Ingredients

Salt & Pepper

3  live lobsters

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Mini hot dog buns

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions

To cook the lobsters, pour water into a large pot to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil and salt generously. Add the lobsters, cover, and cook until bright red,  about 10 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.

Crack lobster shells, pick meat from the tail and claws, and cut into small pieces. Mix lobster, celery, lemon juice, chives, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the flat sides of buns with butter. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side; fill with lobster mixture.
June 12th, 2015 | Comments (1)

PREPPY TABLESETTING |PEONIES + GINGHAM + MONOGRAMS

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I’ve always had a sweet spot for gingham check.  Shrink it down, tiny and sweet, or blow it up as an exploded buffalo check.  It’s classic, yet definitely a trend this summer – and that’s my happy spot (where classics and trends intersect!).  For a kick-off to summer dinner party tonight, I styled a table that combines some of my favorite things: peonies, monograms and gingham check.  The gorgeous monogrammed napkins are from Madison in Dallas, and the china is all from Kate Spade.

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June 8th, 2015 | Comments (1)

PREPPY ANCHOR SUMMER PARTY

DSC_0443One of the best things about our newly launched collection of party invitations, is the amazing amount of new parties I can throw! 😉  My goal is always to design invitations that inspire a whole theme, and I love giving you ideas to go along with the invitation!

The Preppy Anchor party invitation is one of my favorites for summer entertaining.  It’s offered in 4 colors, and has a crisp, classic look to it.  It could be used for a birthday party, summer picnic, dinner party, rehearsal dinner, or baby shower! I put together a little Nautical-inspired party and there are some darling ideas I hope you can repurpose for your next party:

  • Instead of using only a blue and white color story, I popped some bright maritime colors in the accessories.  Custom napkins made from our anchor fabric were edged with red, yellow, green and light blue ribbon.
  • White lanterns from Pottery Barn served as the centerpiece for the tablesetting, and I tied the silverware with white rope for a nautical nod.
  • Placecards always make guests feel extra-special.  I used white rope balls from Party City to hold mine at each place.
  • Our new foil-stamped straw flags add a festive touch to any party!  They look especially fun in the colorful striped acrylic glasses from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy’s. And the cocktail – it’s my signature Sea Breeze and a must-have for summer.  Get the recipe here.
  • For a casual lunch, I served up my clam chowder pot pies, and embellished them to fit the theme by adding an anchor on top of the crust.  Baked in individual staub pots – they’re cute and delicious – and you can get my recipe here.
  • I always like to send my guests home with a little something as a party favor, and these anchor muslin bags from Party City were the perfect fit for my theme. I used a mini red clip to attach a gift tag.

tablesettingred napkinsilverwareglass and placecardplatesDSC_0420DSC_0417cocktailDSC_0451DSC_0303party favor bags

April 28th, 2015 |

FIESTA PARTY | CELEBRATE CINCO de MAYO WITH KIDS

fiesta party invitation horizontalCinco de Mayo is a colorful, festive celebration that typically is more geared towards adults.  I have a couple fun ideas for you, from my book Stylish Kids’ Parties, on how to throw your littles a colorful fiesta.  These ideas would also work smashingly well for a Fiesta birthday party!

Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or a Fiesta birthday party, send your guests a colorful invitation to set the tone for the event!  We have two new designs in the shop that would be perfect: the fiesta and the confetti invitations.  (see images at the bottom of the post)  If you want to get crafty, you can add a glassine envelope of colorful confetti to it!

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pom pom trimDress up your basic party platters or cake stands with colorful pom pom trim from your local craft store.  One of my favorite ways to serve up lemonade is in mini mason jars with flower lids and striped straws. Looking to add a playful punch to your party?  Fill up a bowl with sprinkles and place your mason jar drinks in them for easy grab-n-go.

drink bottles verticalDecorate your tablesetting with a fringe centerpiece.  Using a wood number (age) or letter (initial), wrap it with a paper fringe garland and stick it into a pot of wheat grass.  The full DIY instructions are in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, along with a couple free printables.

centerpiecewrap fringe around the numberSend your little guests home with paper cone party favors full of candy.  I used pink and orange striped lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.  Throw in a couple of tacos and chocolate-covered churros, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous family-friendly Cinco de Mayo party!  Here are the two new invitations in the shop that would be PERFECT for a Fiesta party:

party invitations

 

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