September 23rd, 2015 |

WH HOSTESS | FOIL-STAMPED COCKTAIL NAPKINS

cocktail napkinsWe love stocking our shelves with entertaining essentials so we’re ready to welcome guests at a moment’s notice. Custom cocktail napkins from WH Hostess are a simple, yet stylish way to add a personal touch to your dinner party, birthday party, baby or bridal shower, and other special occasions.

WIth 22+ napkin colors, 15 different foil ink colors, and 30+ preppy modern designs from WH Hostess to choose from, you can create a custom, personalized napkin perfectly suited to your specific celebration or personal style. They also make a fabulous gift!

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September 4th, 2015 |

PINK FLAMINGO DINNER PARTY

3With Summer quickly coming to an end, I am pulling out all of the photos from my summer parties I haven’t shared yet!  Do you remember that darling Pink Flamingo Baby Shower I co-hosted for my sister back in June?  Well, I knew I was going to have some GORGEOUS flowers leftover, so I planned a little girl’s night dinner party for a couple days after the event.  When you invest time, money and materials into party decorations, it’s always wise to try to re-use them! :)

1I invited a couple girlfriends over for a preppy dinner party, and set my table allowing the leftover pink flamingo centerpiece to take center stage!  I used silk palm leaves as placemats, and topped my basic white dinner plates with a green ikat patterned salad plate.  Hot pink napkins from Party City were tied with a white ribbon and a tag featuring each guests’ monogram as a placecard.  Simple glassware and votive candles completed the look!

As a party favor, I sent my girls home with a little green box filled with hot pink candy.  I used one of our flamingo gift stickers to accessorize it and tie it together with our theme. Enjoy the rest of the photos!

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September 3rd, 2015 |

END OF SUMMER ENTERTAINING

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Celebrating the end of summer with friends and family is a tradition in this house! This year, we hosted a sunflower dinner party and I have some great ideas and recipes to share with you today.  I hope you can pull some inspiration from it for your own gatherings.
Since the weather here in Chicago has been BEAUTIFUL this week, I set the table out in our sunroom.  The crisp white wainscot on the walls makes for the perfect backdrop for just about any color palette I want to play with.  My blue and white plate collection on the wall, and desire to use sunflowers for the centerpiece, led me to a blue, white, yellow and green color palette for the tablesetting.
placesettingI set the table using blue and white striped placemats, my basic white dinner plates, and a blue and white quatrefoil print napkin.  To add that special touch, I placed mini flower pot placecard holders on each plate.  I used a 1″ scallop circle punch and yellow scrapbook paper to create the name tags.  To create the centerpiece, I filled my favorite rose bowl vase with giant sunflowers from the farmer’s market and flanked the vase with navy blue oversized candlesticks.
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I welcomed my guests with a signature cocktail for the evening: a strawberry rubarb lemonade cocktail using Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  I served them up in stemless champagne flutes, garnished with a green gingham straw and a slice of lemon, along with my pineapple foil-stamped cocktail napkins.

Strawberry Rubarb Lemonade Cocktail Recipe:

(makes 2 cocktails)

1 bottle Mike’s Hard Lemonade
6 strawberries
1 lemon
1 handful of rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Instructions:
Chop the strawberries and handful of rhubarb, and place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, and sugar.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar melts, squeeze in the juice from the lemon and remove from the heat.  Strain the liquid thru a fine mesh sieve and pour it into a glass with Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  Garnish with a slice of lemon.
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For dinner, I served up two of my favorite summer dishes: an heirloom caprese salad with tomatoes from my garden, and a lemon garlic salmon dish.  This salmon dish has been my go-to all summer long and I must share it with you!  It’s simple, fresh, healthy and turns out great every single time!
salmon recipe

Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe

(serves 2-3 people)
1 lbs sockeye salmon
2 lemons
4 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves garlic
Salt & Pepper
Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat and squeeze the juice of two lemons into the butter.  Add chopped/crushed garlic and simmer for a minute or two, and then remove from the heat.
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place your salmon on top.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and then pour the lemon butter sauce on top.  Fold your aluminum foil up around the fish to completely tent it, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Once you remove it from the oven, plate it and pour some of the remain butter mixture from the pan on top, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
To recreate this look: placemats, dinner plates, napkins, napkin rings (crateandbarrel.com), flower pot placecard holders (kateaspen.com), pineapple foil-stamped napkin (whhostess.com), crystal rose bowl vase (tiffany.com), navy blue candlesticks (homegoods.com), blue plate collection (some via horchow.com)
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
September 2nd, 2015 |

NEW PRODUCT: 6×6 LUCITE CATCHALLS

hot pink interlocking monogram 6x6 with tassel necklaceNew product launches are ALWAYS fun, and this one is one of my favorites!  Our new lucite catchall trays are 6×6 in size, and come with a removable, personalized insert.  They are perfect for holding jewelry on your dresser, catching your keys by the front door, storing baby necessities on the changing table, or stationery on your desk.  They come in a ton of darling patterns (and most designs offer 6-12 different color options), allowing you to create a piece perfect for your home.  And at $32, they also make the perfect gift!

6x6 mums floral

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July 20th, 2015 |

QUICK CLEANING TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE PARTY-READY

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A lot has changed since I had a baby a year and a half ago. One of the biggest adjustments has been that my house went from being spotless to now things/messes/toys/shoes are EVERYWHERE all the time.  Since I A) like a tidy house and B) love to have pop-in guests to entertain, I’m always looking for ways to keep things picked up and clean. Here are a few quick cleaning tips that have helped me:

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1) BASKETS

I keep a large basket in each of the main living spaces in our house that hold some toys for Daniel to play with.  This makes it simple to pull them out for last minute entertaining, but also quickly pick them up and contains the mess.

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2) STOCK of SUPPLIES

I keep the hutch in my sunroom fully stocked with clean glasses, festive paper straws and personalized cocktail napkins, along with beer, wine and liqueur options.  That way we are ready to roll when friends drop by for a quick cocktail and/or playdate.

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3) STAY ON TOP of THE DIRT

I’m not going to lie, I’m not the most enthusiastic house cleaner.  I can find a million other things I would rather be doing than cleaning.  However, since I had Daniel and he started playing on my floors all of the time, that all changed.  I’m constantly trying to keep up with the dirt so he doesn’t get into it when he’s crawling around, and I don’t have to be embarrassed by the food crumbs on my kitchen floor when friends stop by. The Dirt Devil® 360° Reach™ makes basic cleaning tasks a breeze!  This handy, little tool has made my life so much easier!

It’s compact in size, making it handy to store (unlike my monster of a vacuum cleaner, which I hate hauling up and down stairs), and can tackle pretty much any mess from floor to ceiling.  My favorite part is that it picks up heavy dirt & debris while the SWIPES™ microfiber pad captures the dust. That means that I clean my wood floors in just ONE step vs my standard 2-step process (vacuum and then clean), saving me time and energy!

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I also love how easy it is to get to hard-to-reach cracks and crevices with the attachments. Little fingers and little treats get EVERYWHERE! This makes it effortless to clean up all of those goldfish crumbs!

I can’t say enough nice things about the Dirt Devil 360° Reach, and Dirt Devil has a special deal going right now, while supplies last.  Enjoy!

  • The special package price of $149.99 is available at https://buydirtdevil.com and includes an additional attachment package valued at $75.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Dirt Devil, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DirtDevil360Clean http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

 

 

July 13th, 2015 |

SUMMER PATIO PARTY | PAMA LIQUEUR COCKTAIL RECIPE

patioDSC_0987A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had partnered with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur to host a “Summer Patio Party” in celebration of their BIG summer Pinterest contest going on this month.  PS – Have you entered yet?!  I’m back today to share the photos from my Patio Party, along with a couple fun food ideas, and a fabulous cocktail recipe from PAMA.

I invited my guests for the Summer Patio Party using my BBQ party invitation – I love the casualness of it, and the color palette it set for the party – black, white, yellow, red and a touch of green. I set the patio table with a sunny assortment of sunflowers, woven charger plates, green melamine plates, and black and white buffalo check napkins.  To add a little twinkle to the table, I placed votive candles into mason jars filled with green lentils.

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DSC_0975I served up one of PAMA’s signature cocktails – the Summer Fling!  To make serving simple, I premixed my cocktails and placed them in capped bottles, making it simple for guests to help themselves.  I add to the summer-casual-feeling, I served them up in glass mason jars as glasses.

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DSC_1007DSC_1002To make your own PAMA Summer Fling Cocktail, follow this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup PAMA
  • 12 oz Peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice (2 large limes)
  • 1 tbs thinly chopped fresh basil

Instructions

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Pour into a re-sealable 600ML bottle. Chill until ready to serve. Can be made up to 1 week in advance.

PS – they have all kinds of fabulous recipes on their website – you can check them out here.

cornwatermelon horizontalIn addition to our burgers and brats, I served corn on the cob on popsicle sticks (I stood them up in a galvanized container, making for a charming presentation), and my favorite go-to summer appetizer: watermelon, feta and basil stacks, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The sweetness complimented our PAMA cocktails perfectly!

I sent guests home with a little popcorn bag, dressed up with a gingham check sticker.

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

There is still time to enter the Celebrate Summer Pinterest contest at PAMALiqueur.com/CelebrateSummerContest. 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.

July 2nd, 2015 |

DRESS UP YOUR ICE CREAM SANDWICHES | 4th OF JULY

ice cream introOkay, Friends – this is going to be your SIMPLE go-to dessert recipe for the weekend.  Neighbors stop by after the parade – perfect!  Kids want a little treat after the 4th of July BBQ – perfect!

Everyone loves ice cream, and it’s the perfect treat for when you have been outside all day.  Dress up your store-bought ice cream sandwiches with red, white and blue sprinkles for a very festive, and dare I say, “fancy” 4th of July dessert!  To create these, I simply filled a bowl with patriotic sprinkles, unwrapped my ice cream sandwiches and rolled the edges in the sprinkles. Simple, fast, and it’s even a job you can pass off to your kids to help!

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June 30th, 2015 |

4th OF JULY PARTY CRACKERS | FREE PRINTABLE

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Are you hosting a 4th of July party this weekend?  I have a fun little “freebie” for you today!  Send your guests home with a paper cracker full of candy or small gifts. These are super simple to make, and I’m even including a free printable label for you below.

Here’s the how-to: save your empty toilet paper rolls, fill them up with candy/small gifts, and then wrap in a sheet of tissue paper.  Tie each end with ribbon and wrap with our free printable label.  Super simple, yet oh, so stylish!  Have fun! (click on the image of labels below for the free download)

crackersCRACKER FREE DOWNLOAD (web)

June 29th, 2015 |

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 |

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!

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