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Hot Potato

6 Sep

Working with a bunch of crazy, Type A meeting planners definitely has it’s perks. It means I can go into endless logistical details about my house warming and get tons of opinions and feed back. Today’s “hot” topic was my harvest housewarming menu. Lets be honest, food is the most important thing with any party! I came away, today, with a menu idea.  Drumroll please….A Baked Potato Bar! I know, pure genius, right?! It’s completely a comfort food and perfect for the cool days of fall. As I mentioned in my post yesterday we have some food allergies to consider but with a baked potato bar we can accomodate everyone. Plus, it’s interactive and build it yourself so party guests get exactly what they want. This will not be your normal baked potato bar.  We will be adding a baked sweet potato bar where guests can add cinnamon and sugar. Here are a few ideas I pulled from Pinterest, what do you think is it a good idea?

Casual Dinner Party

25 Jul

On Saturday we invited all of our awesome friends who helped us move into our new house for a thank-you dinner. There were ten of us and I wanted to serve a summer menu while stepping it up from the normal hotdog/hamburger affair. Here was the menu:

Three bean salad with a lime olive oil glaze; Coleslaw; Cornbread; Grilled vegetables, marinated in a garlic balsamic; Grilled corn on the cob; Grilled Shrimp with a basil lemon marinade; Grilled BBQ-Chicken legs.

I wanted to try to get as much done ahead of time so that when the guests arrived I could actually socialize. What I found helpful was prepping the food prior to the event. I precut everything the night before and stored it in ziploc bags.  I marinated the meat overnight. It saved so much time and stress that evening.

You all know how I feel about setting the perfect table from my post The Perfect Table. I wanted to do some sort of centerpiece but nothing too fancy so I did a few small arrangments just to dress the table up a little.

Party Time!

21 Jun

So you want to throw a party, but the whole idea seems a little overwhelming and a bit daunting? Where do I start? What should the theme be, where is it going to take place, who should I invite, where do I get the supplies?! Ok, Ok one step at a time! First, I always think of a theme even if it’s just a few colors that I want to thread throughout the party. Here are a few websites that will help you pick a theme and buy all the party supplies you need to ensure your party is epic…or at least it will look really good!

Birthday Party Express Why you’ll love it: It’s a one-stop shop. It has a ton of theme ideas and everything is packaged together so you don’t need to stress that the party hats match the plates, etc.

Oriental Trading Co.- Why you’ll love it: It’s great for bulk purchases, such as favors, or prizes for games. They have endless options.

Party City– Why you’ll love it: It has great sales and great variety.

Ikea– Why you’ll love it: It’s the dark horse of party supplies, but you can get some great paper goods for good deals and the colors are just a little bit different.

Save on Crafts– Why you’ll love it: This site is for my DIYers, so of course I am in love with it. If you are looking to get creative then this is your site. They also have the must current trends when it comes to entertaining.

Etsy: Why you’ll love it: Talk about customized! I love Etsy because you can really personalize anything and the shops are so easy to work with.

It’s Starting to Get Personal

28 May

A year ago from today was one of the best days of my life, not only did I marry my best friend but I got to throw one ginormous party! I can’t believe a year has gone by already. In this year I have not stopped learning. If marriage has taught me anything it is that we are forever changing, growing and working to become a better person and encouraging my husband to do the same.

A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and the way they express their love. – Pearl S. Buck

Most of you have already seen all my wedding pictures but here are a few of my favorite moments from that night, courtesy of Robert and Kathleen Photographers.

Cost Cutting Wedding Tips

16 May

My littlest cousin is completely in love and getting married in December. Makes me feel really old that she is getting married already, but I am going to try and not think about that too much! 🙂 She just graduated college and is looking to throw a cost conscious wedding. I thought being in the business I would help her out and gather my top five tips to keep the class high while getting the cost down. Hopefully a few of you other newly engaged brides out there find this useful as well.

No. 1- Off Peak- Consider getting married during non peak dates. Depending on where you live, most peak wedding months are May – October. If you get married between November – April not only will you get a good deal on the venue but your other vendors might be more willing to negotiate their rates. Not loving the idea of a winter wedding, check out some of these gorgeous pics from Green Wedding Shoes, it might make you want a winter wonder land of your own.

No.2 Bigger isn’t always better- Limiting the number of guests at your wedding is by far the greatest way to keep costs down. Small intimate weddings are very personal, and having just your closest friends and family makes that day even more personal. Estimate between 15 – 20% of your guest probably won’t be able to attend.

No. 3- Prioritize – Pick the most important elements for the big day. For me it was photos and for my husband it was the food. So we made sure we didn’t cut corners when it came to those two items.

No. 4 – Location – Host your wedding and ceremony at the same location that way you don’t have to pay for two venues. Usually wedding venues will charge a small ceremony fee less than if you rented another location.

No.5- Borrow- Yes it’s nice to have your own cake topper and veil, but really you are never going to use them again. When close friends and family can lend you personal items from their day to make yours more special, it not only adds a personal touch but saves you money.

A Personal Post- Looking Back

24 Apr

It was just a little over a year ago when my amazing friends and family threw me a wonderful bridal shower. The whole experience was new to me since I am always the one throwing the parties.  You have no idea how hard it was to let go! They were all very secretive about the whole affair and wanted to make sure everything was a surprise. The day couldn’t have been more perfect, and I wanted to share their great ideas with you.

The theme was a vintage tea party. The china that was used was passed down from my family and my husband’s family giving it a personal touch. The sterling silver teapots were my good friends grandmothers, which made it more special. I want to also take this moment to thank everyone involved, even though it was a year ago it seems like just yesterday and I still remember every perfect detail!

Stop and Smell the Roses’

18 Apr

It’s no coincidence that flowers are so popular. They have it all – good looks, soft to touch, smell good, and they always look so happy. Receiving a bouquet of flowers always puts a smile on my face. In the summertime I love getting a big bouquet and dividing it up into smaller vases. With the multiple smaller arrangements you can decorate several spaces, giving you more bang for your buck. I also adore the mix and match look of the different vases, if it’s shabby-chic then I am sold! In the summer you can find cheaper flowers at Stop and Shop or your local farmers market. Here are a few of my favorite arrangements.

Photo Credit: Robert and Kathleen, Country home.

Nature’s Egg Dyes.

4 Apr

Every year my friends and I have an Easter egg dyeing contest. We are a competitive bunch and take these holiday activities very seriously. This year I am going to be in Ireland so I will not be able to partake in the festivities. However I found on BHG an all natural way to dye easter eggs which I would have used this year. I find this way so much better than dropping mystery tablets into cups of vinegar, plus the colors come out really soft and pretty.

Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries.

Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with a slotted spoon.

Jade Green
Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Green-Yellow
Peel the skin from 6 yellow apples. Simmer in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Red-Orange
Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Rich yellow: Simmer 4 oz. chopped carrot tops in 1-1/2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Mustard-yellow: Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Various shades: Steep 4 bags of chamomile or green tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes.
Pale yellow: Chop 4 oz. goldenrod and simmer in 2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Faint yellow: Simmer the peels of 6 oranges in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. vinegar.

Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.

Faint pink: Chop 4 oz. amaranth flowers and simmer in 2 cups water; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer the skins from 6 avocados in 1-1/2 cup water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Mix 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Dark pink: Cut 1 medium beet into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and let cool to room temperature; remove beets.

Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.

A Ms. Beatrix Potter Shower

26 Mar

It’s always a pleasure going to a fellow meeting planner’s party. All day at work we are so restricted with our ideas planning other people’s events that I love seeing what my friends do with no restrictions and putting their own creative touch on the event. This weekend I went to a co-worker turned friend’s baby shower. Our friend Amy hosted the Beatrix Potter themed baby bash. Amy had all her childhood Beatrix Potter books out, which made the decorations even more special. Take a look at all her cute decorations below!

There was a ton of good food, and the cute pompoms Amy made from a previous post, they turned out awesome!

I couldn’t get enough of the cute books, bunnies and birds!

Fanciful Frills and Fringe

1 Feb

Valentines Day is on its way! I personally feel it’s a made up holiday but this year I was so inspired by these cute fringey streamers I found on Oh Happy Day, that I had to try them out for myself. They were so easy to make I now want to have a party just so I can show these off! In the spirit of Valentines Day I made mine in shades of pink.

Materials Needed:

Crepe paper sheets, not tissue paper (up until this post I did not realize there was a difference!) You can find these at most crafts stores, or online.

Step 1: Cut off about a 2″-3″ section of crepe paper, depending on how wide you would like the streamers.
Step 2: On one side of the roll of paper cut into the fringe evenly spaced. Leave some space in the center.
Step 3. Turn it over and cut fringe on the other side, still leaving space in the center.
Step 4: Scrunch up the fringe on each side, separate the layers and ruffle it with your fingers.
Step 5: Unroll and your ready to get the party started!

Here is a step by step photo instructions via Oh Happy Day.

What I love most about these frilly little things are they take boring streamers to chic fun party decorations! They are an inexpensive way to dress up any kind of party. Look how much color and fun they bring to a dessert table. Photo courtesy Luxe Finds.

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